California Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell has introduced legislation that would allow California business owners who host arts and crafts workshops to serve significantly limited amounts of beer and wine at those workshops. Our Sheena Tahilramani of Banter and Bliss, which hosts DIY workshops in the Los Angeles area, is spearheading advocacy efforts in favor of the legislation. After learning about the intention behind the legislation and researching the details, including how the legislation, if passed, would help our members in California, I am pleased to announce that Indie Business supports the bill.
About AB 376
In California, limousine service providers, some spas, barber shops and salons, and hot air balloon ride service providers are permitted to serve beer and wine on a restricted basis, and without an alcohol license, as a complement to the experiences they provide their customers.
As currently drafted, AB 376 bill would allow small business owners who host DIY workshops to do the same. Hosts would not be allowed to sell alcohol, and the hours during which they could serve it would be severely restricted.
In opposition to the legislation, some have argued that allowing small business owners who lack licensing or beverage service training to serve limited amounts of beer and wine threatens public health and safety. I disagree, and have not seen evidence that the risk to public safety in situations like this is any worse than the risk that currently exists when people buy beer and wine at licensed establishments.
Another argument against the legislation is that it would deprive the state of licensing revenue that could be used for alcohol law enforcement or programs designed to reduce alcohol-related harm in the community. While adequate revenues are always a legitimate state concern, and all businesses should pay their fair share, small businesses and solo-preneur DIY-focused entrepreneurs should not be excessively and/or unnecessarily regulated so the state can do its job.
If anything, the state should reaching as much as possible in favor of legislation like this, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.
Learn more about AB 376
You can read the text of AB 376 here.
You can also read and download a handy legislation fact sheet.
Indie Business recently submitted a letter in support of the legislation, and you can read it here.
If you'd like to support the legislation, you can edit this template, and save it, and then submit your own letter to Sheena at hello [at] banterandbliss [dotcom] and she will take care of the rest.
Hearing on AB 376
The California legislature is expected to host a public hearing on AB 376 in the near future. I will update this post with the date, time, and location as soon as I have it.
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Questions for discussion and sharing
What do you think of AB 376? Do you have similar laws in your city or state? Share your feedback and experiences in the comments.
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