Come out and attend one of the ILCC and TTB informational seminars on June 13

At yesterday’s Illinois Liquor Control Commission board meeting, the director said that in addition to discussing federal trade practice rules and some issues concerning the ongoing investigations that the entities are engaging in, the upcoming June 13 learning sessions hosted by the TTB in Chicago regarding trade practices would be jointly hosted by the ILCC and […]

7th Circuit: Indiana’s Wacky Prohibition of Distributors Selling Both Beer and Spirits Has Rational Basis: Increased Cost to Consumers

You might not believe it unless you look like this: But Indiana’s current bar against beer wholesalers selling liquor or liquor wholesalers selling beer was just held constitutional because the state claims its “rational basis” was the increase of pricing to stem alcohol consumption. In Monarch Beverage Co., Inc. v. David Cook et al., Monarch […]

FDA Sued By Consumer Advocacy Groups for Allowing Corporations to Skirt Regulatory Process For GRAS Designations

The Center for Food Safety, Environmental Defense Fund, Center For Science In The Public Interest, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Environmental Working Group have filed a lawsuit against the FDA (you can read the complaint here) alleging that the FDA’s rule for Substances Generally Recognized as Safe (the “GRAS” rule) is undermining the integrity of the […]

Second Circuit Puts Thumb On Scale Bringing Back Whole Foods Overcharging Case

The plaintiff brought this class action alleging that Whole Foods systematically overstated the weights of pre-packaged food products and overcharged customers as a result.  The products are prepackaged cheeses, cupcakes, the items weighed add priced prior to shelving – where the prices is based on the weight of the food.  The complaint had cited a […]

Dissent In Texas Three-Tier Case Contains Powerful Indictment Of Strict Enforcement Of Cross-Tier Ownership

As you all probably have heard, in Cadena Commercial v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Texas Supreme Court recently weighed in on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s decision to deny a license for retail sales to a group of convenience stores that wanted to sell alcohol because through a chain of ownership, one of the […]

FDA Postpones Mandatory Calorie Menu Labelling Until 2018

The FDA announced on Monday that it was halting the mandatory menu labeling requirements that restaurants would have to implement in four days for a year.  This delays the enforcement of the rules that would require restaurants and other food serving establishments that meet the requirements to place calorie information on menus. As we recently […]

Will Lee v. Tam End The TTB’s Censorship of Beer Wine and Spirits Labels Found Obscene or Indecent?

As the US awaits a verdict in Lee v. Tam – a trademark dispute challenging a section of the trademark act (15 U.S.C. 1052(a)) refusing trademark registration for marks that are deemed immoral or scandalous, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s implementation and application of those restrictions – it would benefit us to be […]

North Carolina Proposes Some Common-Sense Amendments to Modernize Its Brewing Laws That Advance Rights for Craft Brewers In the Face of Changing Times

Jim Koch (of Boston Beer fame) wrote an excellent polemic for the New York Times last week questioning some American attitudes towards beer.  A salient point from that article was that many state distribution laws developed over time from the end of prohibition and haven’t been updated since the 1970’s.  These distribution statutes were created […]

Menu Labeling Standards In Crosshairs As Applied to Convenience and Grocery Stores As May 5 Compliance Deadline Looms

Given the new administration’s take on excessive regulation and its distaste for the Affordable Care Act, it was only a matter of time before some of the newer menu labeling standards came under fire.  The mandatory calorie disclosures set to take effect under these rules on May 5, 2017, are a sore spot for retailers […]

Online Wine Retailer Wins Case Against False Claims Assertions Over Failure to Collect Local Taxes For Sales

In a recent win for online wine retailers (not wineries selling direct), the Illinois appellate court has upheld the dismissal of an action against online wine retailer Winetasting.com alleging it violated Illinois’ False Claims Act (740 ILCS 175) in failing to collect and pay the local retailer’s occupation tax for the municipality where the wine […]

Craft Brewers Need to Watch This Texas Dispute Over Getting Money From Wholesalers For Selling Distribution Rights – State Files Opening Brief in Appeal of Challenge to Texas Brewer’s Ability to Sell Their Distribution Rights for Payment

It used to be that brewers signed with wholesalers and gave up their self-distribution rights and didn’t get any money for them.  Then some enterprising brewers realized that wholesalers sue each other and brewers for the value of those rights so the rights must have value.  They started asking for payment when they signed with […]

Lawsuit Challenges Wisconsin’s Unconstitutional Ban On Foreign Butters That Don’t Submit to the State’s Arbitrary Grading Process

Protectionist statutes meant to insulate dominant state industries by restricting or banning sales of foods and beverages that compete with local products aren’t just inane, they’re unconstitutional.  That hasn’t stopped the State of Wisconsin from keeping (and mildly enforcing) a law dating back the the 1950s that requires the grading of any butter sold in […]