July 1, 2016 brings a lot of changes to the alcohol industry in Tennessee. Almost everyone knows that beginning on July 1, grocery stores will be able to sell wine (if the wholesalers can deliver product to the grocery store, but that’s for another article….). But another major change also begins on July 1: the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission will no longer issue employee permits for those individuals who work in retail package stores. For anyone that has a valid employee permit, that permit will continue to be valid until it expires. However, for those individuals who are new to working in retail package stores or those whose permit has expired, those individuals will have to become “certified clerks”. These “certified clerks” will have to receive training on the responsible sale of alcohol from either responsible beer vendor programs or responsible wine vendor programs that have been certified by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
On the other hand, beginning July 1, 2016, the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission will begin requiring a new kind of permit for managers of retail food stores, retail package stores and wineries: a manager’s permit will now be required for all managers who are in charge of the sale, distribution and the ordering of alcoholic beverages in retail food stores, retail package stores and wineries. These permits are valid for 5 years and cost $200. In order to qualify for the manager permit, the applicant (1) must be at least 18 years of age; (2) not convicted of any crime involving the sale or distribution of alcohol for a period of 8 years from the date of application; (3) not convicted of any felony for a period of 5 years from the date of application; (4) not have a server or employee permit revoked in any jurisdiction for a period of 3 years from the date of application; (5) not have any ownership interest in a retail store or have had any ownership interest in a retail license that had been revoked for a period of 8 years from the date of application; and (6) has had training in an alcohol awareness class that has been certified by the TABC.
Further, based upon current proposed rules promulgated by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, each manager must attend annually either a responsible beer vendor class or a responsible wine vendor class, and a two hour class either taught by the TABC or by an entity certified by the TABC class on the changes in the laws, certain prescribed topics with a question and answer session.
So in other words, the manager’s permit is good for 5 years at $200 each, but the manager must also attend annual training by either a responsible beer or wine vendor class and receive additional annual training by the TABC or other certified entity on the changes in the alcohol laws that have occurred and other specified topic.
It is anticipated that Danielle Elks of Elks Law will become certified in teaching the annual training for the changes in alcohol laws. Please contact Elks Law for questions regarding any issue discussed in this article.