Virginia Legislators Considering Loosening State's Alcohol Regulations

Date: March 01, 2016 Last Edit: March 02, 2016

Growing craft brewing and distillery industries are pushing back against gov. roadblocks.

Virginia Legislators Considering Loosening State’s Alcohol Regulations

Dozens of bills are up for debate in the Virginia Legislature this year that could ease alcohol regulations in Old Dominion and allow more businesses to flourish, especially those in the small-batch/craft brewing and distilling industries.

The bills on the table include proposals to allow drinks to be served in cigar shops and art studios, to reduce the amount of food restaurants must sell in order to serve cocktails, to allow state-run liquor stores to sell tourism merchandise (like “Virginia is for Lovers” items) and to offer a tax incentive for the sale of barley, hops or wheat grown by a farmer and sold to a Virginia craft brewery.

This proposed legislation aims to change long-held strict rules and regulations placed on the sale of alcohol from the Prohibition era, so it’s unclear how much progress will be made. Legislators are weighing considerations of public safety, economic development, belief in limiting government regulation and interference and the anti-alcohol views of some constituents.

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