New Law to Allow Charitable Organizations to Accept All Types of Alcoholic Beverages from Various Sources

In the waning hours of the Massachusetts Legislature’s 2015-2016 session, a bill sponsored by Representative Alice Peisch (House Bill 248) was passed that will authorize duly organized non-profit organizations within the Commonwealth to accept donations of any type of alcoholic beverages from any individual or legally operating manufacturer, wholesaler, or package store to be served at fundraising events for the benefit of the non-profit (M.G.L. c. 138 Section 23). Previously, non-profit organizations could only obtain a Charity Wine Pouring License that authorized the non-profit to accept donated wine to be served during the event or a Charity Wine Auction license authorizing the non-profit to auction wine for the benefit of the organization. However, these licenses are limited to only wine and the ABCC set out restrictions regarding the location of the event, who can donate, who can derive proceeds from the sale, and more. This law now authorizes all types of alcoholic beverages to be donated and served at non-profit fundraising events.  It is likely the ABCC will create a new special one-day permit for such occasions with similar limitations as the Charity Wine Pouring License and Charity Wine Auction License.