The voters of Colorado have spoken!
In November 2022, Colorado residents passed ballot initiative 125, allowing an off-premises beer licensee to begin selling wine as of March 1. Currently licensed Fermented Malt Beverage Off-Premises Retailers (FMB-OFF) will automatically convert to “Fermented Malt Beverage and Wine Retailer” and have their new licenses emailed or mailed to them. There won’t be any changes to the state license number, issuance date, or expiration date.
What Does This Mean for FMB-OFF Retailers?
The two primary types of FMB-OFF retailers are convenience stores and grocery stores. These retailers will experience several benefits with this new classification, including:
- “The ability to sell malt and vinous (wine) products in sealed containers for off-premises consumption.
- The ability to conduct tastings as long as they meet the standards of the local and state licensing authorities.
- The ability to deliver malt and vinous products in sealed containers to persons 21 years of age or older.”
With approximately 1,800 off-prem beer permits set to automatically convert to a beer and wine license on March 1, there are plenty of opportunities for residents to take advantage of their favorite spot’s new offerings. Not every off-prem licensee will choose to sell wine, but they will be able to if they decide to at some point in the future.
What if Retails Want to Modify Their Premises in Order to Sell Wine?
If a retailer is adding new wine inventory to their existing shelves, there is no need to file for a modification of premises with the state or local licensing authorities. If a retailer chooses to materially modify their premises to make room for wine sales, the changes and applicable fees must be filed with the local and state licensing authorities.
Temporary displays – such as advertising banners displaying new wine offerings – do not count as materially altering the licensed premises and do not require approval. This can apply to end caps or other temporary cardboard displays. The only condition is that they must not be displayed in candy or soda aisles, to prevent minor access.
What Should Colorado Retailers Do to Prepare for Their First Wine Delivery from Wholesalers?
If you are enrolled in Fintech’s Distributor Autopay, you can log in to your account here to add your new wine distributors at no cost. If you need assistance adding your distributors, 1-800-572-0854 and press “1” for Client Services followed by “3” for Distributor Autopay. You can also email [email protected] and someone will get back to you.
If you are a Fintech PaymentSource customer, you can log in to your account here to add all your new wine distributors for automated EFT payments free of charge. Need help adding your distributors? Call 1-800-572-0854 and press “1” for Client Services followed by “2” for Activation. You can also email [email protected] for assistance.
If you are not yet enrolled in Fintech’s automated payments for your beer and wine deliveries, you can request a demo here.