Late Thursday evening, the Massachusetts Legislature passed H 4650, a spending package that includes a one-year extension for cocktails to-go from restaurants, bars and distilleries in the state. The bill now awaits Governor Charlie Baker’s signature.
“Massachusetts businesses and consumers are one step closer to enjoying cocktails to-go for an additional year,” said Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of State Government Relations. “Not only does this measure provide increased convenience for consumers, but it also gives restaurants a critical source of revenue as they work to recover from the pandemic and face ongoing challenges with staff shortages, supply chain issues and inflation. We are grateful the legislature acted to extend this consumer- and business-friendly measure and are hopeful Governor Baker will sign it into law swiftly.”
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent, and 13 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 13 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 May 1, 2022), Michigan (expires December 31, 2025), Rhode Island (expires March 1, 2022), 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.