Mar 27, 2020

ABC Director releases new Guidance by License Type tool for ABC Licensed Businesses

The guidance can help businesses navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic

Sacramento – Jacob Appelsmith, Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), has just released a new document on ABC’s public website called Guidance by License Type to help California’s alcoholic beverage industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new guidance tool is an easy to use, quick reference document that shows what licensees with on-sale privileges are able to do under the just-released Notice of Regulatory Relief. The tool can help provide guidance and clarity in this rapidly changing environment,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith.

The new Guidance by License Type tool, along with ABC’s updated Frequently Asked Questions, are the latest efforts by ABC to help California’s large and diverse alcoholic beverage industry weather this crisis.

“ABC staff will continue to listen to concerns and ideas from the industry and the public as all of us respond to this pandemic,” said Appelsmith. “Many Californians have filed for unemployment recently, and we are committed to do anything we can to ease some of the state’s economic stress.”

On March 19, 2020, ABC released The Notice of Regulatory Relief that covers eight main topics affecting the alcoholic beverage industry:

  • Returns of Alcoholic Beverages
  • Retail to Retail Transactions
  • Extension of Credit
  • On Sale Retailers Exercising Off Sale Privileges
  • Sales of Alcohol To-Go
  • Off Sale Transactions
  • Hours of Operation for Retail Sales
  • Deliveries to Consumers

ABC has had to close its offices to public access, but ABC’s licensing staff continues to process permanent license applications and annual renewals, and ABC agents are continuously providing public safety services, enforcing underage drinking laws and assisting local law enforcement.

ABC offices were closed to the public effective March 20, 2020. The closures are temporary during the COVID-19 pandemic to help slow the spread of the virus. During this time, ABC will continue to accept mail-in license applications, and ABC staff will continue to process those applications for permanent licenses, and renewal of licenses. ABC staff will also be available to answer questions and receive information via phone, email, and regular mail.

Please visit ABC’s Contact page to reach a local office or email if you have additional questions. We encourage all licensees to sign up with the Department for email notices. This is easily done by clicking subscribe. If you have any questions, please contact the Department.

ABC’s top priority is the health and safety of Californians. We encourage the public and industry members to follow the announcements made by Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health at COVID-19 and learn the latest from the Centers for Disease Control CDC. Californians should also follow the latest from local public health officials in the days and weeks to come as California fights the spread of COVID-19.

ABC protects communities through education and by administering prevention and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws. To learn more about ABC programs that help protect communities, prevent alcohol-related harm and potentially save lives visit the ABC Website. ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.

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Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

Public Information Office
3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
Phone: (916) 419-2525

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