Late Friday evening, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed H 4650, a spending package that includes a one-year extension for cocktails to-go from restaurants and bars in the state.
“Cocktails to-go continue to provide a stable source of revenue as Massachusetts businesses cope with the ongoing challenges related to the pandemic, staff shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation,” said Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of State Government Relations. “The hospitality industry has been devastated over the last couple of years, and extending consumer- and business-friendly measures like cocktails to-go give them an opportunity to recover. We applaud the legislature and the governor for ensuring cocktails to-go stick around for another year.”
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent, and 12 other states passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.
During COVID-19, more than 35 states began allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go as an economic relief measure via executive orders or other temporary measures. Since then, 18 states and the District of Columbia enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and 12 others enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Some states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation.
States that passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent:
Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.
States that passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis:
California (expires December 31, 2026), Colorado (expires July 1, 2025), Connecticut (expires June 4, 2024), Illinois (expires January 3, 2024), Maine (expires March 30, 2025), Maryland (local option – expires June 30, 2023), Massachusetts (expires April 1, 2023), Michigan (expires December 31, 2025), Tennessee (expires July 1, 2023), Vermont (expires July 1, 2023), Virginia (expires July 1, 2022) and Washington (expires July 1, 2023) passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.
The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.