Managing Research Analyst
Since 2020, 33 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) have passed legislation related to alcohol delivery, to-go drinks, and direct shipment of alcohol.
Sale and Delivery of To-Go Drinks
Prior to March 2020, no state had explicit laws governing to-go orders or delivery of alcoholic drinks from bars, restaurants, and other retailers that are licensed to provide alcohol for on-premises consumption.
According to the National Restaurant Association, 39 states and D.C. loosened their cocktail to-go laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of October 2022, 19 states and D.C. have made permanent laws regarding to-go drinks, and 14 states have extended their provisions temporarily.
In Kansas, Executive Order 20-27, issued April 22, 2020, allowed for sale of to-go beer and alcoholic drinks from liquor retailers, class A and B clubs, and drinking establishments until 11:00 p.m., as long as the drinks are in containers placed inside sealed, clear bags. HB 2137 (2021) made this permanent law. Delivery of to-go beer and alcoholic drinks is currently not allowed.
Currently, 35 states and D.C. allow for some form of local alcohol delivery directly to consumer homes, though what may be delivered and what types of licensees are allowed to deliver varies from state to state. For example, Minnesota does not allow for delivery from on-premises licensees, such as cocktails or beer from a restaurant, but consumers may have pre-packaged alcohol delivered from a retail store or other off-premises licensee. Alaska, Connecticut, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming also restrict deliveries to unopened, pre-packaged alcohol, while Idaho and New Hampshire specifically restrict deliveries to wine and beer.
States also regulate who may deliver alcohol, with 11 states prohibiting delivery by third-party licensees such as DoorDash or Drizly.
Delivery from Retailers
Delivery from retailers, such as liquor or grocery stores, has also expanded since March 2020. Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and West Virginia recently passed laws permitting alcohol to be delivered from retail stores. Iowa, Louisiana, and Wyoming expanded existing delivery laws to allow alcohol purchased from retail stores to be delivered by third-party services.
|Authorized for Direct Shipment||States|
|All spirits as specified||Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, West Virginia, District of Columbia|
|Beer and wine as specified||Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia|
|Wine, cider, and mead||Connecticut, New Jersey|
|Wine and cider||New Mexico|
|Beer, wine, and cider||Oregon|
|Wine and mead||Arkansas|
|Wine only||Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah (wine subscriptions), Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming|
Direct Shipment of Alcohol by Manufacturers
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the majority of states have statutory provisions that allow for out-of-state manufacturers to ship alcoholic beverages directly to consumers, with many states restricting direct shipments to wine. Most states require a specific direct shipping license or permit. The table above provides more detail.
Alcohol Authorized for Direct Shipment by State
Currently, KSA 2021 Supp. 41-308a(a)(10) authorizes farm wineries to ship wine in-state if the winery obtains a special order shipping license pursuant to KSA 2021 Supp. 41-350. Microbreweries and microdistilleries are not permitted to ship product directly to in-state customers.
For more information on the direct shipment of alcohol by manufacturers, visit the NCSL at https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/direct-shipment-of-alcohol-state-statutes.aspx.