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The sale of on-the-go alcoholic beverages will become permanent Colorado law – Colorado

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(The Center Square) – An expiring Colorado law allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages, stemming from a COVID-era executive order, is now a permanent statute.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 24-020 into law after it passed 60-3 in the House of Representatives and 29-2 in the Senate. It will come into effect on August 6.

Colorado becomes the 28th state to permanently legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages. California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Vermont have temporary laws allowing the sale.

Current law in Colorado allows certain establishments with liquor licenses to sell limited quantities of alcoholic beverages for takeout or delivery orders, but it would expire on July 1, 2025. The new law removes the expiration date and allows the practice to continue indefinitely.

Organizations representing restaurants and the hospitality industry praised the legislation and believe the additional revenue opportunity will help alleviate other financial pressures.

“Restaurants lost more than $3 billion in revenue in 2020 alone and have since struggled with inflationary pressures, labor shortages and operational uncertainty,” Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, said in a statement. “Alcohol from restaurants is a win-win situation; it is hugely popular with the public and gives restaurants a degree of confidence knowing they can take this additional revenue stream into account when planning for the future.”

The alcoholic beverage industry also saw the legislation as meeting consumer demand.

“Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Colorado,” Ainsley Giglierano, vice president of public affairs and state policy at the Distilled Spirits Council of the USA, said in a statement. “Cocktails to-go have not only been a great additional source of revenue for local bars and restaurants, but adult consumers have increasingly come to expect the added convenience they provide. Making this measure permanent will provide much-needed long-term stability.”

In 2020, Senate Bill 20-213 codified Polis’ executive order allowing takeout and delivery of alcoholic beverages. It also directed permit holders to have a permit issued by the Treasury Department after the pandemic emergency order ended. In 2021, the Legislature passed and Polis signed a bill to extend the reimbursement for pickup or delivery from 7 a.m. to midnight.

According to the bill’s budget memorandum, 1,532 applications were submitted for the permits and 848 applications were submitted for renewal of the permits during the 2022-2023 fiscal year.