Yesterday, March 23, 2020, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced that he will sign the statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order (the "Order").
The Order requires every person to stay at home (unless they need to pursue an “essential activity”); bans all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes; and closes all businesses, except for “essential businesses.”
So, what does this mean for Washington wineries, breweries and distilleries?
After reviewing the Order and speaking with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (the "WSLCB"), we confirmed that Washington wineries, breweries and distilleries may engage in the following activities:
- Production. Washington wineries, breweries and distilleries may continue production, as the production facilities are considered “essential.” (The Order identifies breweries and wine-making facilities as “essential”; it does not expressly discuss distilleries. Per discussions with the WSCLB, though, it is similarly allowing distilleries to continue production. If this changes, we will update the blog post.) Tasting rooms remain closed, as to any on-premises consumption like tasting, etc.
- “To Go." Wineries may continue selling manufacturer-sealed bottles “to go” from their tasting rooms. Please maintain appropriate “social distancing” procedures to protect both employees and customers.
- Delivery. If you currently have delivery privileges, you may deliver product now. If not, you can request delivery privileges by submitting the Added Activities form. Please send the form to email@example.com.
- Curbside Delivery.You can request curbside delivery by submitting the same Added Activities form. As you will see, there is no box for or other reference to curbside delivery. Per conversations with the WSLCB, it is asking wineries, breweries and distilleries to handwrite or otherwise note the request for curbside delivery privileges on the form. Again, please send the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there!
Emily Harris Gant is the firm-wide Chair of the Commercial, IP and Tech Transactions Group at Foster Garvey, where her practice focuses on the alcoholic beverage and cannabis industries. You can reach Emily at email@example.com or 206.816.1454.
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.