News Colorado Becomes 28th State to Make To-Go Alcoholic Drinks Permanent

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed SB 20, a bill to permanently allow the sale of alcohol beverages for takeout and delivery from restaurants. This makes Colorado the 28th state to make alcohol to-go permanent, one of a number of lasting regulatory impacts of the pandemic for the alcoholic beverage industry.

The temporary measure was set to expire on July 1, 2025.

Allowing licensed on-premise retailers to sell beer, wine and cocktails to-go during the pandemic when indoor seating was limited or prohibited was a lifeline to many businesses. Now that the pandemic restrictions have been removed it is less used, but still important for many retailers. One lasting impact of the pandemic has been a dramatic increase in to-go food orders after consumers realized how convenient it could be. Many of those to-go orders include an alcoholic beverage.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 28 states, including Colorado, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and five others have enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.

States that signed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent into law:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.

States that signed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis into law:

California (expires December 31, 2026), Illinois (expires August 1, 2028), New Jersey (TBD), New York (expires April 9, 2030) and Vermont (expires July 1, 2025) passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.

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