Under certain specified circumstances, certain liquor licensees may employ interns or employees between the ages of 18 and 21 to hold, handle, transport, or otherwise possess liquor.
For example, a nonretail class licensee is permitted to allow an employee under the age of 21 to stock, merchandise, and handle liquor if an adult age 21 or older is on duty supervising, subject to other restrictions.
In addition, a domestic winery licensee may allow interns between 18 and 21 years old to engage in wine production-related work at the domestic winery's licensed location, so long as the intern is enrolled as a student at a community or technical college, regional university, or state university that holds a special permit for this purpose issued by the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). The student must also be enrolled in a required or elective class as part of a culinary, sommelier, wine business, enology, viticulture, wine technology, beer technology, or spirituous technology-related degree program.
A domestic winery or non-retail class liquor licensee is solely responsible for any act or omission of their employee or intern that occurs at or on the licensee's premises that violates liquor laws.
Employees of all liquor licensees with privileges for manufacturing or producing beer, wine, spirits, or any type of liquor who are between the ages of 18 and 21 may engage in the manufacture and production of liquor as authorized under the terms of their employer's license. The employee may only work in the licensee's production facility if there is an adult age 21 or older on duty supervising such activities.
An employee under age 21 engaging in the manufacture and production of liquor is not authorized to taste, consume, sell, or serve liquor.
The substitute bill, as compared to the original bill, provides that an employee of a liquor licensee who is under the age of 21 that engages in the manufacture and production of liquor is not authorized to taste or consume liquor.
(In support) The bill is a common sense fix that would address this problem. It provides opportunity for students, supports economic development, and reduces red tape.
Adding breweries and distilleries multiplies the positive effects of the bill. Educational programs related to brewing and distilling liquor also support wine programs, so it makes sense to expand the authorizations under the bill to include breweries and distilleries.
The bill will remove existing barriers for employment, expand hands-on education, and provide career pathways for brewing, cider-making, and distilling students across the state. A learning environment that includes exchanges of diverse ideas and experiences enriches the curriculum. In addition to helping students, this bill would also support related educational programs through supporting the growth of the industry that will employ graduates.
Outreach to underrepresented populations to participate in the craft beverage, wine, beer, and distilled spirits fields is important, and more students from underrepresented communities need to be aware this is a potential career option.
It is challenging to find people to work at distilleries. This bill will help provide necessary experience for students to learn a trade, which will help support distilleries in hiring skilled employees to manufacture and produce spirits.
A student is typically 18 years old when they graduate high school, and they have to make a decision about what career path to pursue at that time. If these students are not permitted in breweries and distilleries, they will likely move on to other career options.