NIGHTLIFE INDUSTRY NEWSLETTER: POLICY

U.S. Tariffs Hit American Beer Drinkers:

It is unlikely U.S. government officials considered that the tariff spat with its major trade partners would impact America's some 100 million beer drinkers. But it has. Beer industry insiders told Xinhua that their industry is being hit in several ways by the escalating trade disputes with Canada, Mexico and China. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Robert Pease, president of the Brewer's Association (BA), voiced his industry's concerns with the imprudent tariffs policies by U.S. government. "It's a serious issue for us, it's a serious issue," Pease emphasized. MORE


Overqualified? Or Too Old? Age Discrimination Case Takes Aim at Biased Recruiting Practices:

Dale Kleber, a veteran lawyer, had been unemployed and job hunting for three years when he came across a position that seemed promising, but for this part of the ad: “3 to 7 years (no more than 7 years) of relevant legal experience,” it said. Kleber, 58 at the time, had decades of experience, including as general counsel at Dean Foods and, most recently, as CEO of a dairy products trade group. But his efforts to land a new job at that level had been unsuccessful, and he didn’t want to draw down his retirement accounts to make ends meet. MORE


U.S. Traffic Fatalities Fall Following Two Years of Rising Toll:

Deaths on American roads fell by nearly 2 percent last year, blunting two years of increases that had troubled regulators and safety advocates. A total of 37,133 people died in traffic crashes last year, down 1.8 percent from 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Deaths involving pedestrians, drunk driving, speeding, bicyclists and motorcyclists all declined. The rate of overall fatalities also declined to 1.16 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, even as Americans drove more. Total vehicle-miles-traveled increased 1.2 percent. MORE


Tax Reform 2.0 Is Done: Passed by House, Likely Going Nowhere in the Senate:

The House on Friday passed a bill to make permanent the individual and small business tax cuts that had been set to expire after 2025 as part of the overhaul enacted late last year. The bill, passed by a 220-191 vote, was the final piece of a three-bill package the Republicans labeled Tax Reform 2.0. The first two pieces, providing additional incentives for Americans to boost retirement savings and more tax breaks for startup businesses, were passed on Thursday. MORE


WHO Launches SAFER Alcohol Control Initiative to Prevent and Reduce Alcohol-Related Death and Disability:

The World Health Organization (WHO) today released SAFER, a new initiative and technical package outlining five high-impact strategies that can help governments reduce the harmful use of alcohol and related health, social and economic consequences. SAFER is the newest WHO-led roadmap to support governments in taking practical steps to accelerate progress on health, beat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) through addressing the harmful use of alcohol, and achieve development targets. “We are proud to introduce SAFER – a package of proven interventions to reduce the harms caused by alcohol, and a new partnership to catalyze global action,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. MORE


U.S.-Canada-Mexico Trade Deal to Benefit U.S. Spirits Exports:

The U.S. and Canada have reached a deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which will retain duty-free access for U.S. spirits exports to Canada and Mexico. The two countries have agreed on a new “modernised” deal, called The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), to replace the 1994 Nafta pact. The agreement gives the U.S. greater access to Canada’s dairy market and allows extra imports of Canadian cars. On Monday, president Donald Trump tweeted the “wonderful new trade deal”. MORE


Senator: White House Drug Office Vows Objective Pot Study:

A White House drug office official has offered assurances that a marijuana policy panel will be objective and dispassionate as it examines the impact of legalization in some states, a Colorado senator said. The vow came after BuzzFeed reported in August that the panel intended to portray marijuana as a national threat and criticize state efforts to legalize it drug. Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet disclosed the assurances Monday after he asked the Executive Office of the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy to respond to the report. MORE


The 5 Worst U.S. House Reps on Marijuana Policy:

In the first column in this series, I wrote about the five members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are tops when it comes to championing marijuana-policy reform. This week, I turn my attention to the five House Reps with the worst records on marijuana policy and have contributed to delaying much-needed reform efforts. If I thought picking the five best members of the House was hard, picking the five worst was even harder. Of the chamber's 435 members, NORML gave 47 of them an “F” grade, and many still seem to be stuck in the “Just Say No” era of the 1980s when it comes to drug policy. MORE


NIGHTLIFE INDUSTRY NEWSLETTER: STATE

California: Gov. Brown Vetoes Bill to Extend Alcohol Service to 4:00 A.M.:

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday vetoed a bill that would have extended alcohol sales until 4 a.m. Senate Bill 905, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would have updated the California drinking law on the books since 1913 that ends late-night alcohol service at 2 a.m. Nine cities would have been impacted by the law including Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Long Beach. "California's laws regulating late-night drinking have been on the books since 1913," Brown said in a statement. "I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem." MORE


California: San Francisco Restaurants Flock to Affordable Liquor Licenses:

San Francisco will once again pour affordable liquor licenses into neighborhoods struggling to generate commercial development. It’s the second phase of a plan for the city in which 30 neighborhood-specific licenses will be distributed over six years. The licenses, called Type 87, are designated for underserved commercial corridors along the Bayview’s Third Street, the Excelsior’s Mission Street, portions of Visitacion Valley and several neighborhoods on the west side of the city, such as Taraval Street, Noriega Street, Ocean Avenue and San Bruno Avenue. MORE


Louisiana: Alcohol delivered to your front door? Task Force Vetting Idea After Legislature Rejected It:

A state House panel earlier this year nixed efforts to allow customers to purchase wine or beer when they order dinner through a food delivery app, but a task force that includes various stakeholders of the idea has been plodding through the details to see whether lawmakers should reconsider. The Louisiana Retail Food and Beverage E-Commerce Task Force met Thursday and heard from representatives of the Louisiana-based Waiter food delivery service and Instacart, a California-based grocery delivery company that has been operating in Louisiana since March. MORE


Michigan: Axe-Throwing Bar Has Alcohol License Suspended:

A leisure complex at which patrons are invited to throw a battle axe at targets had its alcohol licence suspended for one day after an investigation deemed its health and safety procedures to be inadequate. Axe throwing is a sport in which competitors throw an axe at a target, attempting to hit the bulls eye, and is a featured event in most lumberjack competitions. The one-day suspension was served on Sept. 10 by Michigan’s Liquor Control Commission to Hub Stadium, a leisure complex that features axe-throwing lanes, in order to develop new safety procedures and precautions, as reported by Detroit News. The commission launched an investigation on June 21 when they found a safety concern involving its policy of allowing up to 10 customers in enclosed ax throwing lanes. MORE


Michigan: Marijuana-Infused Alcohol Could Become Illegal:

Marijuana-infused alcoholic drinks are expected to become illegal here in Michigan. Legislation doing just that is heading to Governor Rick Snyder's desk where he's expected to sign it. Supporters say the bill is a preemptive move in case voters legalize recreational marijuana next month. Opponents say the legislation is a solution to a non-existent problem, because there is no market right now for marijuana infused beer, wine, or liquor. MORE


Michigan: Court Ruling Opens Michigan to Retail Wine Shipping:

In a ruling issued Friday, the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division directed the state to allow out-of-state retailers to ship wine to Michigan consumers, and said the state can create a permit to do so that's similar to what wineries must obtain in Michigan. The ruling comes on the heels of last week's news that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider Tennessee Wine & Spirits vs. Byrd Clayton, involving residency requirements for wine retailers. The Michigan opinion and order cites the 2005 Granholm Supreme Court decision that found Michigan and New York laws permitting direct shipment of wine from in-state wineries, but forbidding the same from out-of-state wineries, violated the dormant Commerce Clause of the Constitution. MORE


Minnesota: November Ballot Initiative Seeks Liquor License Changes:

At Tinto Kitchen in South Minneapolis, it took six whole months for owner Rebecca Illingworth Penichot to get a liquor license. Just to sell a margarita, she needed approval from the Minnesota State Legislature and the governor before she could even take her application to the Minneapolis City Council. To navigate the process, she spent thousands of dollars on a licensing consultant— and missed out on liquor revenue the entire time. "It's a pretty convoluted, long process," Illingworth Penichot said. She moved her restaurant to the corner of 50th and Penn last year. "The challenge was navigating through laws that are in place, that make it problematic to go from Point A to Point B." MORE


Montana: Griz Montana Lager No Longer for Sale:

As the University of Montana’s 125th year comes to an end, the school’s Griz Montana Lager is coming off the shelves. Introduced in August 2017, the University planned to let the license agreement expire at the end of the anniversary, making it the signature flavor of the landmark year. The agreement with Big Sky Brewing, the creators of the beer, ensured that 12 percent of profits would be returned as royalties to the University. The anniversary brew raised just over $35,000 at no expense to the school. The royalties were distributed to the ASUM transportation DUI task force, Curry Health Center Prevention Programming and the University’s marketing and promotional ventures, including the 125th Anniversary Celebration that took place last year. MORE


New Jersey: State Puts Microbrewery Regulations on Ice:

New regulations to limit the number of events craft breweries in New Jersey can hold were put on ice Tuesday. Just a few weeks after the state's Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued rules on Sept. 21 limiting the state's roughly 90 microbreweries to 25 on-site activities a year, the office said it was suspending the regulations. "We want to make sure that we get this right," ABC Director David Rible said in a statement. Rible says the division will work with stakeholders to understand concerns and consult with lawmakers on potential changes. The reversal comes after the initial rules led to some pushback from legislative leaders, including Democrats Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. MORE


North Dakota: Mandan Looks to Create 'Beer and Wine Only on Sale' Liquor License:

Mandan will soon see the creation of a new liquor license. The "beer and wine only on sale" liquor license. "On sale" meaning that beverages sold under this license should be consumed at the location. The difference between this and other licenses is that it isn't connected to food sales, and is cheaper. "People are interested in wine bar types of concepts, and places where you can enjoy a glass of wine in a more quiet atmosphere," said Mandan Business Development and Communications Director Ellen Huber. MORE


Utah: New Alcohol Rules Limit Stores to 2 Beer Displays:

Grocery and convenience stores in Utah that are already limited to selling only low-point beer will face additional restrictions intended to curb excessive in-store advertising and consumer confusion. The Salt Lake Tribune reports new rules that were buried in a massive liquor overhaul bill that passed last year will restrict stores to only two beer displays. The stores that sell beer containing 4 percent alcohol by volume must obtain an off-premise state license, requiring stores to pay a $325 fee and to submit a floor plan of where beer will be sold and stored. MORE


Washington: Cannabis Gummies, Hard Candies to Be Pulled from Washington Shelves:

Certain weed-infused candies could start disappearing from store shelves across Washington early next year. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced during a meeting Wednesday that it will “re-evaluate” all edible marijuana products in an effort to cut back on foods that may be appealing to children. Washington state, which legalized recreational pot in 2012, has long had rules barring products that are “especially appealing to children.” Even so, the board has received public complaints that some candies being sold in stores could be enticing to kids, said spokesman Brian Smith in an email. MORE


NIGHTLIFE INDUSTRY NEWSLETTER: BUSINESS

These American Whiskies Are So Popular You Can No Longer Buy Them:

It's that time of year, when Pappy Van Winkle raises your hopes and then dashes them. Every October, the brand releases its annual allotment of whiskies around the country. While it hasn't commented on the size of this year's shipment, the odds of you snagging a bottle are still very low thanks to the fact that every whiskey drinker on Earth wants one. The stores lucky enough to get a few bottles of Pappy usually put them aside for their best customers. (Don't even ask about waiting lists; those who are offered Pappy buy it.) But Pappy fever has had an unintended consequence, it has created a whole new group of drinkers who search liquor stores and the internet for specific whiskies. MORE


A New Cannabis Infusion Bubbles Its Way into the Non-Alcohol Wine Category:

In August, the Southern California Terra Tech Corporation, a self-described "vertically integrated cannabis-focused agriculture company," announced its partnership with a beverage production company, the Valiente Group LLC based in Woodway, Washington. Valiente specializes in cannabis infusions; other than that, it is quite difficult to find out anything about the company. The collaboration between these two companies is to produce a line of cannabis-infused beverages under Terra Tech's IVXX brand. The intended products include an apple cider, lemonade, Margarita mix, zero calorie lemon-lime soda, cherry-lime sparkling water and a sparkling wine-all non-alcoholic. MORE


Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses:

Small business disaster preparedness planning is easier than you think. See new tips and resources to finally check "disaster plan" off your to-do list. What does good disaster preparedness mean? We asked Frank Russo, founder of risk management company Procor Solutions + Consulting. He told us an impressive story. There's a large consumer goods retailer, he says, that calls a standing meeting after every major natural disaster. They talk about what they would have done if the disaster had happened at one of their locations. Russo says that these brainstorm sessions are then built into a regular "catastrophe gaming process" where employees act out disaster situations. The real-life stress tests identify weak points – say, a door that can't be locked because the facilities person is on vacation. MORE


The Rise of Artisanal Flavored Tonic Waters:

Tonic water behind the bar has come quite a way from soda guns and Schweppes. In recent years, small-batch premium tonic waters have steadily trickled into the market—from the more established Fentimans and Fever-Tree (which recently expanded its North American operations) to smaller labels like Thomas Henry, East Imperial, and Indi. Not only are many of these brands marketing a higher-end tonic water, but in some cases they’re reimagining the mixer’s flavor profile altogether. Quinine is no longer necessarily the star of the show. In 2018 alone, ingredients like rhubarb, yuzu, and Angostura bark made their way into new tonic water expressions. MORE


The Science of Ice in Cocktails:

The greatest misconception about ice in cocktails, says Francis Schott, the cofounder of Stage Left restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, “is that it cools drinks just by being cold. It doesn’t—it cools drinks by melting.” When a bartender chills a drink, heat leaves the liquid, and it has to go somewhere. Raising the temperature of a gram of ice by 1 degree C will draw about 2 joules of energy from the surrounding cocktail. But melting a gram of ice pulls 333.5 joules—two orders of magnitude more cooling power. Melting ice is an extremely efficient way to cool a drink, so much so that in his cocktail treatise Liquid Intelligence, Dave Arnold dubs it the Fundamental Law of Traditional Cocktails: “There is no chilling without dilution, and there is no dilution without chilling.” That property of ice is one of the tenets underlying the contemporary focus on high-quality bar ice. MORE


Dunkin’ Donuts and Harpoon Brewery Create Coffee Porter:

Dunkin’ Donuts and Harpoon Brewery, two New England-based companies, have collaborated for the first time to create a limited-time-only coffee porter beverage for the U.S. market, according to a report on Foodbev.com. Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Porter is described as a 6% ABV brew with a malty flavor, a smooth mouthfeel and aromas of espresso and dark chocolate. Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Porter will be available in 12-ounce bottles from selected retailers only during the autumn. The bottle’s white label is decorated in Dunkin's signature orange and pink colors, making it easy to spot at stores. MORE


Pepsi Is Investigating Drinks with Cannabis:

PepsiCo has confirmed that it’s researching the prospect of producing drinks containing cannabis, according to a report from Medical Express. Hugh Johnston, CFO for the soda and snacks giant, told CNBC that management is taking a critical look at that area, but is not prepared to share any new product plans at this time. As NACS Daily reported last month, Coca-Cola is reviewing the cannabis-infused beverage market, which is driven by the growing popularity of CBD, a nonpsychoactive component in marijuana. While cannabis is still illegal under U.S. federal law, some states have legalized it. MORE


Annual Release of Pappy Van Winkle Grows Nearer:

For bourbon fans with a love of hard-to-find bottles and a bit of extra scratch to spare, the annual race to get a bottle of whiskey from the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is official on… kind of. Though the information isn’t yet public, October 1 marked the date that the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery—most famous for its Pappy Van Winkle line of bourbons (appreciated by the Pope himself!)—told wholesalers across the country how many bottles of whiskey they could expect from the brand during this year annual release. MORE


Corona Boss Says Not Worried Marijuana Will Hurt Beer, Wine Sales:

Growing use of legal marijuana in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere won't prompt people to drink less beer or wine, according to the head of one of the biggest brewers and wine producers in the U.S. "We see no evidence whatsoever, especially in the legal states, of alcohol cannibalization," said Robert Sands, the chief executive of Constellation Brands Inc., which bought a stake in a cannabis startup last year that has yielded more than $1 billion of investment gains. The Corona brewer took a 10% stake in Canopy Growth Corp. last year and said in August it was investing an additional $4 billion in the Canadian startup, which grows marijuana for medical and recreational products. MORE


Wellness and Prevention: Current Drug and Alcohol Trends Among Today’s Young People:

Both parents and educational professionals often ask me what substances young people seem to use the most and about current trends. Often, adults who pose this question have a preconceived notion of what the predominant substances are, and not surprisingly, these notions vary. To give the most up-to-date answers, I spent some time reviewing data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future Study out of the University of Michigan. The Monitoring the Future Study is the leading nationwide study on youth substance use. Over 40,000 students from 360 public and private schools participate in the survey. It can be found on-line at www.monitoringthefuture.org. MORE

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