Wine, beer, and spirits are subject to California state regulation through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) and federal regulation through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”).
The ABC, and all California state licensees, are governed by the ABC Act, which is a comprehensive and complex set of legislative enactments regulating producers, wholesalers, retailers, and other licensees involved in commercial alcohol beverage activities. In addition to the ABC Act, the California Code of Regulations (“CCR”) provides additional rules for wine, beer, and spirits businesses which must be complied with. Additionally, the ABC provides Industry Advisories to better help assist licensees with their business’s compliance.
If an ABC Licensee fails to comply with the laws and regulations that are required of them, ABC has issued Disciplinary Guidelines to help both the licensees and ABC know what to expect from a given enforcement action.
Finally, some enforcement actions result in Precedential Decisions, which have the same force and effect as a regulation and may be relied upon when an issue arises.
TTB, which is the federal agency responsible for the regulation of alcohol, derives its authority from statute and demands compliance with various statutes and regulations from all regulated wine, beer, and spirits businesses.
There are also TTB Rulings that state the agency’s official interpretation and application of the statutes and regulations, as well as clarify existing guidance. TTB also provides to the public its Procedures to help businesses understand the processes by which TTB addresses issues that come before the agency.
TTB further provides Industry Circulars, which apply statutory or regulatory requirements to specific issues or announce new requirements. Lastly, there are the Treasury Decisions which are the official rules of the Department of Treasury issued for the administration, application, and enforcement of the Federal laws administered by TTB and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.
The state and federal laws and regulations, as well as the collateral materials described above, are significant and require the assistance of skilled legal counsel to help navigate. At Rogoway Law, our attorneys are experienced in working with businesses on a wide range of regulatory compliance issues with ABC and TTB.