New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on Friday, May 15, 2020 authorizing the sale and delivery of alcoholic beverages by the holders of certain retail consumption licenses and concessionaire permits during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
Under the bill, the holder of plenary retail consumption licenses, hotel or motel licenses, seasonal retail consumption licenses, or concessionaire permits, generally issued to bars and restaurants, would be permitted to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages in original containers or in closed and sealed containers and mixed cocktails in closed and sealed containers for consumption off the licensed premises during the state of emergency.
The bill would also allow craft distillery licensees to sell for consumption off the licensed premises distilled alcoholic beverages that are manufactured on the licensed premises and mixed or blended with other alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages and sold in closed and sealed containers. Additionally, the bill would allow craft distilleries to sell distilled alcoholic beverages in original containers accompanied by one or more nonalcoholic beverages or food stuffs that may be combined by the consumer to prepare a mixed drink.
“Our restaurant and hospitality industry has suffered tremendous financial losses due to COVID-19,” said Gov. Murphy. “Allowing business owners to sell and deliver cocktails and mixed drinks can help alleviate some of their financial uncertainty.”
The bill would expire six months following the date: (1) on which the state of emergency has ended; or (2) on which the coronavirus-related occupancy or customer seating restrictions no longer apply to the licensed premises, whichever occurs later.