Washington State
House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Regulated Substances & Gaming Committee
HB 2204
Brief Description: Creating a special liquor permit.
Sponsors: Representatives Waters and Wylie.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Creates a temporary liquor permit for a licensed manufacturer to authorize the sale, service, storage, and consumption of liquor on the premises of another liquor licensee with retail sales privileges when an emergency has made the manufacturer's premises inaccessible.
Hearing Date: 1/18/24
Staff: Matt Sterling (786-7289).

The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) issues a variety of liquor licenses and permits authorizing the service, sale, or use of alcoholic beverages in different circumstances and set fees for the licenses and permits.  Examples of available permits include a banquet permit, a permit for an event held at a business without a liquor license, a permit for nonprofit organizations to auction wine, a permit for bed and breakfast lodging facilities, and a permit to allow short-term rental operators to provide a complimentary bottle of wine to guests.


The requirement for a special liquor permit for certain persons, such as a purchase permit for a person engaged in mechanical or manufacturing business or in scientific pursuits that require alcohol for use, or a person operating a drug store to purchase liquor, may be waived by a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor. 


The Governor has the authority to prohibit certain activities and waive or suspend existing statutes through the issuance of emergency proclamations.  Statutory waivers and suspensions are limited to 30 days and can only be extended beyond 30 days by the Legislature.  Cities and counties are given authority to respond to emergencies by the Washington State Constitution and are given authority under law to enter into contracts and incur debt necessary to combat a disaster, protect the health and safety of persons and property, provide emergency assistance to the victims of a disaster, and waive certain budget law limitations and requirements of competitive bidding.

Summary of Bill:

There is an emergency liquor permit available to a licensed manufacturer of alcohol to authorize the sale, service, and consumption of liquor on the premises of another liquor licensee that has retail sales privileges when an emergency or disaster has made the premises of the manufacturer inaccessible and unable to operate due to an emergency or road closure.  If there is a proclamation of a state of emergency issued by the Governor or by the city, town, or county where the applicant is located then the fee for the permit must be waived.  The permit is valid for 30 days and may be continually renewed for periods of 30 days if the emergency or disaster continues. 


Liquor that is provided by the permit holder may be served by employees or agents of the permit holder or the licensed premises.  The permit holder may store up to a 30-day supply of liquor at the licensed premises in segregated storage.  No more than a total of three emergency permit holders may sell at the same licensed premises under an emergency permit.


Emergency or disaster means an event or set of circumstances that:

  • demands immediate action to preserve public health, protect life, protect public property, or to provide relief to any stricken community overtaken by such occurrences; or
  • reaches such a dimension or degree of destructiveness as to warrant the governor proclaiming a state of emergency.
Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.