OLYMPIA: The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) today announces that at the request of industry representatives and in a mutual effort to encourage vaccinations, the agency is providing a limited allowance for on-premises liquor-licensed businesses to offer onealcoholic beverage at no cost to customers with proof of vaccination. The allowance is optional for licensees.
The optional allowance is effective from Saturday May 15, – June 30, 2021. The following conditions apply:
- The customer provides proof to their server that they were vaccinated (first or second vaccination) between May 15, and June 30, 2021 (licensees may choose a window of time between the vaccination date and when the drink can be redeemed, as long as the vaccination was completed within the allowed time period);
- Customers are limited to one drink;
- The liquor establishment may provide the drink, or a non-industry member sponsor may pay for the drink;
- The drink and taxes are paid for at cost of production by the licensee or a non-industry sponsor; and
- Advertisements and public information provided by licensees related to drink with vaccination promotions may not contain the words “free” or “complimentary” but may indicate a drink will be purchased on the customer’s behalf with proof of vaccination.
Hospitality Industry Financially Impacted by COVID-19 Restrictions
The hospitality industry, which includes liquor-licensed businesses, has been among the most severely impacted by COVID-19 and its associated restrictions. In an effort to help these businesses during this difficult time, the LCB since March 2020 has suspended enforcement of dozens of provisions of state liquor rules and laws. The enforcement suspension has allowed liquor licensees such as restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries to continue to do limited business where they would otherwise be unable – such as cocktails to go with food service.
Certain Allowances Temporarily Enacted into Law
At the request of the LCB, the Legislature recently passed legislation (E2SHB 1480), which makes several of the allowances to be permitted by state law until June 30, 2023. An independent study of the impact of these temporary allowances will be conducted in 2022.
Public health experts remind people that Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses to be fully effective and to not drink and drive.