General Affairs

Omnibus liquor law changes approved

Lawmakers passed a bill April 17 that makes a number of changes to Nebraska’s liquor laws.

Sen. John Lowe
Sen. John Lowe

LB376, introduced by Kearney Sen. John Lowe, creates a brand registration for the state Liquor Control Commission to accurately identify and track alcoholic products imported into Nebraska.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, every licensed manufacturer, wholesaler and shipper will be required to pay a registration fee and submit a report to the commission prior to the sale or shipment of any alcoholic liquor into the state.

The measure also includes provisions of five other bills heard by the General Affairs Committee this session:

• LB259, introduced by Lowe, which allows farm wineries to apply for a license to sell beer, mixed drinks and other alcoholic beverages not produced by the farm winery for consumption on their premises;
• LB377, also introduced by Lowe, which authorizes nonprofits to apply for up to 12 Special Designated Licenses per calendar year. Current regulations restrict nonprofits to six SDL applications each year;
• LB452, introduced by Sen. Dave Murman of Glenvil, which allows the holder of a microdistillery license to sell up to 500 gallons of their product directly to licensed retail facilities annually;
• LB596, introduced by Gering Sen. Brian Hardin, which permits liquor manufacturers and wholesalers to enter into an advertising or sponsorship agreement with a nonprofit organization, municipal corporation, religious corporation or political subdivision that holds an SDL; and
• LB667, introduced by Sen. Jana Hughes of Seward, which authorizes alcohol wholesalers to use channel pricing — a strategy used to determine a product’s price based on the retailer’s license and business type.

LB376 passed on a 41-0 vote and took effect immediately.

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