Washington State Guidelines Regarding the Coronavirus

For the latest updates about COVID-19 in Washington State, visit the Washington State Coronavirus page at the Department of Health’s website.

DOH Coronavirus Page

 

 

 

Building Temporarily Closed to Public
The LCB Headquarters Building is currently CLOSED to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

 

Contact Us
Please contact us via telephone and email:

  • If you have direct contact information for an employee you need to reach, please use that 
  • For general questions about licensing, please email Customer Service at: customerservicelicensing@lcb.wa.gov
  • For additional contact information and updates please visit our website at lcb.wa.gov

 

The HQ closure is a temporary measure to safeguard our employees’ and visitors’ health. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

 

Welcome,

This page provides updated resources and information for licensees and the public during the COVID-19 state restrictions period.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has been working quickly to consider steps the agency can take to help licensees during this period of business restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re making allowances to ensure safe customer engagement for your business.

Please note the LCB does not have authority to change state laws. Unless otherwise mentioned, these temporary modifications are effective until determined differently. We’ve also created an FAQ page for licensees who produce/sell alcohol or cannabis to help answer questions we have received. Please email Communications@lcb.wa.gov with your unanswered questions. 

Taxes, Fees and Penalties
On March 24, Governor Inslee signed Proclamation 20-05, making it effective immediately.  This proclamation allows the LCB to waive the penalties for failure to timely remit tax payments until April 22. The waiver is made retroactive to the date of the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency on Feb. 29. Please note that this does not waive taxes due but temporarily allows for a late payment without assessing automatic, statute-directed penalties.

To be eligible for deferment, please:

All spirit fee licensees, wineries and breweries can make payment by e-check through our systems.  Cannabis retailers can make e-check payments through their third party vendors.  We are also accepting checks and money orders by mail.
We understand this is a very challenging time for many of our licensees. We hope this helps.

Official Washington State Health Information
For current statewide information visit the Washington State Coronavirus Portal
 

Guidance for Licensees with Alcohol Privileges: Effective Immediately

Returns of Alcohol Product*

Applies to: alcohol distributors, alcohol licensees
Due to the emergent circumstances, we are providing approval for distributors to pick up product from businesses impacted by COVID-19, which includes the allowance for distributors to provide a refund for the returned product. This temporary approval will be effective until April 17, 2020.

  • Retail licensees impacted by closures may contact their distributor(s) to request the return of product.
  • Distributors should email Lieutenant Robert Knowles at Robert.Knowles@lcb.wa.gov the retail liquor license number(s) and product to be returned. This will allow us to track the impacts of the current situation and plan for future response.
  • Please remember, this does not change the prohibition against consignment sales. Distributors are still not authorized to exchange product for a different product, per WAC 314-12-140.

* Distributors are allowed, but not required, to pick up beer and malt beverage products from retail licensees impacted by COVID-19 closures. They may either provide credit or a refund, at their discretion. Wine and spirits products are not subject to spoilage during the closure, so are not included. For more information click here.

Curbside Service and Delivery
LCB will temporarily allow Spirits, Beer, Wine Restaurant license holders to sell closed, manufacturer-sealed, bottles or cans of beer, wine and spirits – in combination with the sale of to-go food or by delivery. This change only applies to sales of alcohol that includes the purchase of food. Liquor sales without food purchases are not included or allowed under this temporary allowance, which is in effect for the duration of the Governor’s proclamation temporarily banning on-premises dining.

Beer, Wine, Spirit (SBW) Restaurant, Beer and Wine (BW) Restaurant, and Tavern licensees will be allowed to make curbside and/or delivery sales of alcohol under the following conditions:

  • Curbside service:
    • Beer must be in growlers, kegs, or factory sealed bottles and cans.
    • Wine must be in factory sealed bottles.
    • Spirits must be in factory sealed bottles.(SBW restaurants only).
       
  • Delivery:
    • Delivery of beer to include non-factory sealed cider crowlers, jugs or other similar, non-factory sealed containers is allowed.
    • Delivery of malt liquor in kegs or other containers capable of holding four gallons or more liquid is allowed, provided that kegs or containers are factory sealed and that the keg sales requirements (see WAC 314-02-115) are followed.
      • Beer must be in factory sealed bottles, cans, or kegs holding 4 or more gallons
      • Wine must be in factory sealed bottles.
      • Spirits must be in factory sealed bottles.
    • Delivery or curbside sales of bottles of spirits is allowed when purchased with a meal/food. (S/BW restaurants only).

These changes must be implemented along with COVID-19 health protection measures from the CDC guidance and Governor Inslee's Proclamation for retail establishments.

Kegs - Breweries and Microbreweries: 
With the passage of HB 2412, Domestic breweries licensed under RCW 66.24.240 and microbreweries licensed under RCW 66.24.244 are not subject to RCW 66.28.200 when selling or offering for sale kegs or other containers containing four gallons or more of malt liquor of the licensee's own production, or when selling, offering for sale, or leasing kegs or other containers that will hold four gallons or more of liquid. This requirement is not in effect yet, but due to the impacts of COVID-19 LBC will not enforce this during the period before the official effective date of HB 2412, which is June 11, 2020. 

Delivery of Growlers:
Affected Licensees:  Breweries, liquor stores, beer and wine specialty stores
Breweries and liquor stores may deliver growlers. Any delivery must be made by licensee employees, as third party vendors are not allowed to deliver alcohol. Endorsements for temporary activity are not needed as the temporary allowance will be discontinued after the proclamation is lifted.

Growlers and Crowlers: 
LCB will temporarily not enforce the prohibitions on pre-filling growlers and crowlers under the following conditions:

  • Pre-filling is limited to daily quantities expected to sell each day during business hours.
  • Pre-filled containers may not be kept or stored beyond the current business day use.
  • This does not in any manner waive federal requirements or prohibitions, and should not be a defense to federal non-compliance.
  • This is only valid during the time period the Governor’s COVID-19 Proclamation for business restrictions is in effect.
     

Trucking services for liquor licensed distributors:
The LCB is providing a temporary allowance until April 30, 2020, to permit licensed distributors, and other industry members, to sell trucking and distribution services for non-liquor items to licensed retailers under the following conditions:

  • Provided services must be at rates that are not less than the cost of wages, equipment use, and fuel paid by the industry member to provide these trucking and distribution services and must not be provided without charge;
  • Licensed distributors or industry members may carry loads that include liquor and other items. Liquor orders must be invoiced separately from any other products delivered.
  • Trucking service contracts must be made available to all retailers in a service area and may not be exclusive.
  • All record keeping requirements continue to apply.
     

Required signature for home delivery:
Due to the related COVID–19 impacts, effective immediately, and until April 30, 2020, the LCB is temporarily relaxing enforcement of WAC 314-03-020(10)(b) and WAC 314-03-020(10)(b). Licensees with a delivery endorsement may choose to photograph the customers ID, or use other devices such as an app scanning the identification, in lieu of gaining a physical signature to document delivery to the customer.

Outdoor Advertising and Money’s Worth:
LCB will temporarily not enforce the provisions related to distributors providing free outdoor signage on the premises of licensees for the purposes of advertising the on-premises restaurant or tavern location is open for takeout / to go business under the following conditions:

  • Signage must be standard, and not contain a licensee tradename.
  • Donations of signage are limited to restaurants and taverns.
  • Signage size limitations must meet current rule requirements.
  • Signs may not advertise any manufacturer, or contain any brand advertising.
  • A distributor is not obligated to provide any such signage, and an on-premise restaurant or tavern may not require a distributor to provide such signage as a condition for selling any alcohol to the restaurant or tavern.
  • This is only valid during the time period the Governor’s COVID-19 Proclamation for business restrictions is in effect.
     

Guidance for Distillers Producing Hand Sanitizer

Applies to: Distillers
Information is available here for distillers who wish to use their facilities and equipment to temporarily make hand sanitizer, or for distillers wishing to sell distilled alcohol for sanitizing purposes.

Note about Taxes:
If the alcohol is being sold for non-consumptive purposes (denatured) then there would be no spirits taxes or fees.  This has its roots in the statutory definition of spirits, which defines spirits as a beverage.  If the alcohol is not being sold for the purposes of consumption (e.g. to a hospital), or is used in the production of something that is not intended for consumption (sanitizer), then it would not meet the definition of spirits and no state spirits taxes or fees would be assessed.
 

Guidance for Cannabis Licenses: Effective Immediately

At this time, cannabis producers, processors, retailers and approved labs are considered essential and not required to close due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Curbside Service:

Applies to: Retailers
To promote social distancing, the LCB is temporarily expanding curbside sales beyond qualified medical patients to allow sales to all adult customers as long as certain restrictions are in place.  This is an option in addition to mandatory measures for retail establishments set forth by Gov. Inslee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Restrictions

  • Drive-thru windows are not allowed
  • IDs must be checked -- no one in the car may be less than 21 years of age
  • Curbside sales areas must be stationary and physically designated on the leasehold property, preferably as close to the building as possible. Examples of physical designations for curbside service include:
    • Tape or painted parking spots for vehicle parking
    • Cones or signage for vehicle parking
  • Where possible, video cameras should be monitoring and recording the designated sales area
  • Outdoor sales from a tent or kiosk are not allowed
     

Minors in Licensed Marijuana Producers/Processors:
Due to the related COVID – 19 impacts, the LCB is temporarily relaxing enforcement of WAC 314-55-015 involving the prohibition of minors being present on premises of licensed marijuana producers/processors in limited circumstances. This temporary allowance is to accommodate families that have been impacted by school closures. Effective immediately, and until April 30, 2020, the LCB will not enforce the provisions of WAC 314-55-015 for families who have children under the age of 16 on the licensed premises, so long as the following conditions are met:

  • The person under 16 years of age is a child or grandchild of the licensee,
  • The person under 16 years of age is not engaging in any work or act of employment for the licensed business,
  • The person under 16 years of age does not possess any products associated with the production, processing, or sales of marijuana,

This advisement covers only the licensed marijuana facility for producers and processor, and does not include or cover retail locations or transportation vehicles.

 

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