Assembly members John Burzichelli [D-3] and Raj Mukherji [D-33] have crafted a bill creating two new classes of retail liquor licenses for small businesses, reported by the Cape May County Herald. Municipalities would be able to expand access to liquor licenses and help local business meet marketplace needs with this bill that passed the Assembly Appropriations panel yesterday.
“Liquor licenses in our state are among the most expensive and restrictive in the nation,” stated Burzichelli. “New Jersey’s lack of differentiation in how and to whom we provide a liquor license is hurting us. The current system is holding back small businesses or “mom- and-pop” restaurants who can’t afford to pay up to $1 million for a liquor license. The ability to serve their customers a glass of wine with dinner would make a noticeable difference in their profits.”
As part of our continued discussion as part of the Craft Brewing Industry that the need for retail license reform would reduce the opposition expressed by some retailers to updated brewery legislation, this will an interesting piece of legislation to follow. Craft Brewing Business has an interesting editorial written two weeks ago after the Special Ruling suspension that includes A3494 as part of the potential solutions to our concerns regarding both production (brewery) and retail licensing.