The buzz started last year when the Louisiana Retail Food and Beverage E-Commerce Task Force met to review and consider home delivery of alcoholic beverages. According to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report piece at the time, both Instacart and Drizly appeared to testify about the growing trend in American lifestyle choices – home delivery of stuff people want.
Prior to 2019, the Louisiana legislature killed bills for home delivery. But the bill and service found renewed momentum this year and has passed
You can read the enrolled text of HB508 here, which has been sent to Louisiana’s Governor for signature. The bill’s restrictions are limited to retailers in the state, and the rights to delivery are confined to the parishes where the retailer’s permitted establishment is located with oversight from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
Enthusiasts for home delivery will recognize that this model supports the cause of third-party electronic providers who set up the online portals and take a fee while having local businesses perform the actual delivery. Protecting in-state and local interests over out-of-state and state-wide actors benefits the current industry players who have taken the time to figure out local and state regulatory structures and achieved partnership with local liquor stores over large in and out-of-state retailers.
The mechanisms emplaced are familiar in that they require the permittee not the third-party electronic service to:
1) have final determination over accepting an order;
2) maintain physical possession of the alcohol;
3) set the price; and
4) have the permittee appear as the retail dealer and process the order and payment.
Bad news for dry areas and universities – restrictions prohibit deliveries in areas where retail sale is prohibited and to university and college campuses.
The bill also goes the extra step of mandating that the person delivering the beverages ensure the recipient is not intoxicated and obtain a signature verifying the age of the recipient.