New Report: Alcohol Industry Regulations Prevent Vertical Integration, Foster Competition and Protect Public Health

March 8th 2017, 12:20pm

ALEXANDRIA, VA – A new report released by the Center for Alcohol Policy examines the history and purpose of tied-house prohibitions found in federal and state alcohol laws and explains how these prohibitions are as relevant today as when enacted following the repeal of Prohibition. The report, “The Dangers of Common Ownership in an Uncommon Industry: Alcohol Policy in America and the Timeless Relevance of Tied-House Restrictions,” was authored by former executive counsel for the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and alcohol law attorney Jessica C. Starns.

The report explores the history of tied-house laws and the abuses of pre-Prohibition alcohol commerce that served as the catalyst for their adoption, as well as the orderly and competitive marketplace they helped create post-Prohibition. The report also investigates the marketplace dynamics that make these laws as essential today as they were in 1933. Starns explains that recent alcohol policy debates have “disregarded the facts that the centuries old problems related to alcoholic beverages have not dissipated, and the well settled goal of the business firm to maximize profits remains key.”

Patrick Lynch, Center for Alcohol Policy advisor and former Rhode Island attorney general, said, “This report on the dangers of common ownership serves as an important reminder of the need for these laws and will be a valuable resource for those faced with questions about or challenges to tied-house and trade practice policies. These laws have a timeless relevance that is well documented in the Starns report.”

Tied-house prohibitions are laws and regulations that prevent a licensee in one tier of the alcohol beverage industry from having common ownership or financial ties to a licensee in another tier. (Suppliers and brewers are first-tier participants; distributors are second-tier participants; and retailers are third-tier participants in the three-tier system.) These measures, designed to prevent vertical integration in the alcohol beverage industry, are further supported by trade practice regulations that seek to limit other forms of influence that licensees of one tier can exert over licensees of another tier. These laws vary from state to state, as well as between the state and federal levels.

The report illustrates the conflict between the marketplace and public health issues America faced with alcohol pre-Prohibition, how alcohol control policies were formed by the states following Prohibition, and how the current alcohol regulatory system has worked to maintain a vibrant alcohol marketplace while at the same time addressing public health concerns. Starns explains, “The alcoholic beverage control system and its emphasis on restricting vertical integration within the industry is more relevant today than ever before and critical to ensuring the continuation of a healthy and prosperous marketplace while thwarting a recurrence of the conditions that once led to Prohibition.”

The report concludes, “Because of the trade-practice regulations: large, powerful corporations are not able to dominate the marketplace; consumers have a wide array of products to choose from; large and small suppliers are equally able to get their products to the market; retailers are free to determine what products they will stock and how they will place them and small retailers can compete with their larger counterparts; and, the states can mitigate the public health and safety dangers that afflicted the pre-Prohibition saloon by preventing communities from being inundated with cheap alcohol.”

The report was funded by a grant from the Center for Alcohol Policy and will be distributed to policymakers and alcohol regulators throughout the United States. The report also is available on the Center’s website.

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501c(3) organization whose mission is to educate policymakers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption. For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

Nominations Open for Fifth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award

March 6th 2017, 1:24pm

Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award Logo

ALEXANDRIA, VA

The Center for Alcohol Policy is now accepting nominations for the Fifth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award to be presented at the Center’s 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference, September 6 – 8 at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois.

The award recognizes the work of alcohol regulators who oversee the alcohol industry and promote public safety. Any governmental agency or its employees working to promote and enforce alcohol laws and regulations are eligible for the award. A specific program that has achieved positive results or an individual within an agency going above and beyond the call of duty are examples of potential nominees.

In 2016, Sherry Cook, executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), was honored with the Fourth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award for her dedication to improving the state standard for liquor regulation by spearheading innovative programs and initiatives aimed at protecting the public and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the commission.

“The Center for Alcohol Policy appreciates that alcohol regulators are on the front lines of many initiatives in the states aimed at keeping the alcohol industry properly regulated, promoting public health and safety and supporting a competitive business marketplace,” said Jerry Oliver, a Center Advisory Council member who has served as alcohol regulator in Arizona and as police chief in Pasadena, Richmond and Detroit. “This award highlights effective best practices that may serve as examples to alcohol regulators in other states.”

Nominations should provide information on how the nominee serves as an example to others in alcohol regulation. Consideration will be given to how the actions of this nominee are helpful to other agencies or employees, achieve desired results and engage or impact a broad coalition of stakeholders. Self-nominations are permitted, and letters of support are encouraged.

HOW TO NOMINATE: Nomination forms may be emailed to awards@centerforalcoholpolicy.org or mailed to: Center for Alcohol Policy, Attn: Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award; 1101 King St., Suite 600-A; Alexandria, VA 22314.

DEADLINE: The deadline for nominations is July 21, 2017, 5:30 p.m. EDT. Nominations postmarked/emailed after this deadline will not be considered.

AWARD: The Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award recipient will be honored during the Center’s 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The award recipient also may be eligible to receive complimentary registration and a speaking opportunity at a future Alcohol Law and Policy Conference.

For more information, please call (703) 519-3090 or email info@centerforalcoholpolicy.org.

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c (3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation.  By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption.  For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

Essay on Sound Alcohol Beverage Control Policies Wins First Place in Center for Alcohol Policy’s Ninth Annual Essay Contest

February 28th 2017, 10:54am

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy is pleased to announce that Anna Brawley, a senior associate at Agnew::Beck Consulting, is the winner of its Ninth Annual Essay Contest. The national essay contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation.

The 2016 essay contest addressed the question:

The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition and put control over alcohol regulation directly in the hands of the states. Though each state’s alcohol control policies are unique, they all include distinct regulations for different types of alcohol. Why are various types of alcohol regulated in different ways? Should they be?

Center for Alcohol Policy Advisory Council member and Samford University Cumberland School of Law Professor Brannon Denning said, “We can learn a lot from our nation’s history with alcohol, especially looking at the societal problems that led to national Prohibition and the public policy initiatives that were put in place following the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition and began today’s system of state-based alcohol regulation.”

Brawley’s winning essay, “Deconstructing the Drink Menu: A History of Alcoholic Beverages and Proposed Policy Framework,” outlines what is and should be considered when developing sound alcohol beverage control policies. “It remains true that distilled spirits, per ounce, are the most potent choice, and limiting access to these products relative to other, less-potent options is sound policy. It is equally true, however, that the goals of reducing overconsumption, preventing youth access, and reducing the harmful consequences of consumption can only be met through thoughtful regulation of all alcoholic beverages,” Brawley’s essay states.

Brawley concludes, “Legislation and policies with such broad reach and cumulative significance for the general public, business interests in the alcohol industry, local governments and enforcement professionals, and other impacted groups must be designed with minimal burden and therefore maximum chance of compliance. A policy framework differentiating between different types of alcohol should therefore meet the following criteria: to be rational, equitable and practical.”

Rebecca Strazds, a commercial banker specializing in beverage finance, was awarded second place for her essay, “Localities, Licenses, and Loopholes: An Analysis of Variances in Alcohol Regulation and their Continued Effectiveness in Modern Industry,” which explains the modern-day benefits of alcohol control policies in light of the issues leading up to Prohibition. Strazds’ essay concludes, “The evidence is clear: alcohol should continue to be regulated the way it is today, both with regards to localization and category discretion.”

The winning entrants received prizes of $2,500, $1,250 and $500 respectively.

To read the winning essays, please visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org/essay-contest.

Photo Downloads:

Anna Brawley – First Place

Rebecca Strazds – Second Place

David King – Third Place

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c(3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption. For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

Deadline Extended for Center for Alcohol Policy National Essay Contest

December 6th 2016, 10:09am

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The deadline to enter the Center for Alcohol Policy’s Ninth Annual Essay Contest has been extended. The Center will accept entries through December 16, 2016. The topic for this year’s contest is:

The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition and put control over alcohol regulation directly in the hands of the states. Though each state’s alcohol control policies are unique, they all include distinct regulations for different types of alcohol. Why are various types of alcohol regulated in different ways? Should they be?

“The Center’s essay contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation and its implications for citizens across the United States,” said Center for Alcohol Policy Advisory Council member and Samford University Cumberland School of Law Professor Brannon Denning.

“We can learn a lot from our nation’s history with alcohol, especially looking at the societal problems that led to national Prohibition and the public policy initiatives that were put in place following the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition and began today’s system of state-based alcohol regulation,” Denning said.

WHO CAN ENTER: The contest is open to all persons who are over the age of 18 as of December 2016. Students, academics, practicing attorneys, policymakers and members of the general public are encouraged to submit essays.

HOW TO ENTER: Essays may be emailed to essay@centerforalcoholpolicy.org or mailed as a hard copy to: Center for Alcohol Policy; Attn: Essay Contest; 1101 King St., Suite 600-A; Alexandria, VA, 22314. Essays must be accompanied by an entry form.

DEADLINE: The new deadline for entries is December 16, 2016. Winners will be announced in early 2017.

AWARDS: Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $2,500, $1,250 and $500 respectively.

To read essay guidelines and last year’s winning essays, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org/essay-contest. For more information, please call (703) 519-3090.

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to educate policymakers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption. For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

 

 

Center for Alcohol Policy Marks Anniversary of 21st Amendment

December 5th 2016, 9:58am

21st Amendment Repealed Prohibition and Launched Today’s State-Based Alcohol System

ALEXANDRIA, VA – On Monday, December 5, the Center for Alcohol Policy is commemorating the 83rd anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution. On that date in 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States when 36 states (the requisite three-fourths majority of the then 48 states) ratified the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, thereby repealing the 18th Amendment which began Prohibition in 1920.

For more than 80 years, the United States and its citizens have benefited from a state-based system of alcohol regulation, established following ratification of the 21st Amendment, which gives each state the primary authority to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of its citizens.

“The repeal of the failed, one-size-fits-all policy of national Prohibition was not the end of the story – it’s where the story of today’s successful system began,” said Mike Lashbrook, executive director for the Center. “The 21st Amendment recognized that alcohol is a unique product that is best controlled by individual states, and it provided a solution that continues to be effective today.”

“In 1933, the country decided to regulate a formerly banned product and wisely chose to put the states in the lead, but at the same time gave them constitutional protections for whatever approach they chose,” Lashbrook continued. “Ideas suggested by Toward Liquor Control helped shape some of those specific policy choices. As the country considers whether to regulate a banned product like marijuana, the lessons from the 21st Amendment are more important than ever.”

Lashbrook added, “The state-based system of alcohol regulation has been extremely effective at supporting a competitive marketplace while at the same time promoting public safety. America does not experience large problems with bootlegging, counterfeit products or a black market, which were common during national Prohibition and have proven deadly in other parts of the world that lack an effective regulatory system for alcohol.”

A report by former Chief Counsel for the United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau Robert M. Tobiassen, “The ‘Fake Alcohol’ Situation in the United States: The Impact of Culture, Market Economics, and the Current Regulatory Systems,” explains why there are few incidents of fake alcohol products in the United States. The study describes “strong regulatory systems that police the production, importation, distribution and retail sales of alcohol beverages through independent parties” and the country’s “competitive marketplace that provides alcohol beverages at all price points.”

Visit the Center for Alcohol Policy website to watch a video about the origin of America’s state-based alcohol regulatory system and to learn about the Center’s republication of Toward Liquor Control, written in 1933 to help guide alcohol policy in the states post-Prohibition. The website also features national polling research on Americans attitudes toward alcohol regulation and a guide to the basics of alcohol beverage control for new state alcohol regulators.

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 (c)(3) organization whose mission is to educate policymakers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption. For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

 

 

 

 

 

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Center for Alcohol Policy
1101 King Street Ste 600-A Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 519-3090 info@centerforalcoholpolicy.org