Stateways Sept-Oct 2014

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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17 StateWays Q Q September/October 2014 +++++++++++++++++++++ CONTROL STATES EXECUTIVE FORUM worked with the Governor of Maine and the Maine Leg- islature to undo the privatization of the spirits business in Maine. This work culminated with the award of a new 10 year fee-for-services contract for administration, ware- housing and distribution that became effective July 1, 2014. With this new agreement the State of Maine will enjoy a more favorable profit arrangement, associated with top of the line services. The Bureau's new partner, Pine State Spirits, was the warehousing and distribution subcontractor for the previous vendor. Taking Back Control Also as part of this new day, in July 2013, the liquor licensing and enforcement program area was transferred under the Bureau's authority. The transfer of this pro- gram area was another major accomplishment over the last two years. This program area had previously been under the Maine Department of Public Safety for 12 years, and the enforcement team is now working out of the BABLO offices. The Bureau works in cooperation with all of its stake- holders, including Pine State Trading, our suppliers and brokers, along with its essential business partners (the 500 privately owned agency liquor stores across the state). We also collaborate with the Maine Attorney General's Office to evaluate our spirits business processes, licensing and enforcment issues, programs to educate the public on the issues of furnishing alcohol to minors and more generally, the challenges of illegal consumption by minors YTD through June 2014, case sales in Maine are flat while total sales are up 2%. Allen's Coffee Brandy continues to be our number one selling product, and represents 8% of overall sales (down from 10%). Ca- nadian whiskey, NA whiskeys and the vodka categories continue to drive Maine's growth, while the rum cat- egory has lost nearly 300,000 9L cases YTD, based on our NABCA data. Focus on the Future The Bureau will be putting forward a number of legis- lative initiatives in the next legislative session: On-premise data collection: This has been an area where Maine's data has not been available to industry for analysis or planning. There has been significant push back from the association representing bars and restau- rants on this matter in the past. Increased Staff for enforcement: Currently, there are only 5 inspectors who cover this large geographical area in Maine. Each inspector has over 1,500 licensees to manage. Aligning of liquor laws with new enforcement vision: Maine's liquor laws are in need of revision and updating. The Bureau will work with the Legislature to establish a working group to evaluate Maine's liquor laws in their entirety. This is a two-year project, and in the meantime, the Bureau will initiate legislation to fix areas of urgent need including on- and off-premise tastings and the pro- cess to approve agency liquor stores. Over the last two years, our Online Seller Server Training has certified over 2500 seller/servers. Maine continues its mission to effectively regulate the beverage alcohol industry, ensure responsible business prac- tices and create a favorable economic climate, while pro- hibiting sales to minors. The Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations is poised for the future. MICHIGAN Andrew J. Deloney Chairman, Liquor Control Commission I n 2013, the Michigan Li- quor Control Commis- sion (MLCC) implemented process improvements to ensure faster service to its customers. A process that once took 275 days to complete now takes less than 100 days on average. The customer now fills out 63 percent less paperwork, allowing the MLCC to process liquor license applications 64 percent faster and provide the customer with their liquor license more than 175 days sooner on average. The MLCC was also able to achieve a 92 percent reduction in its licensing backlog and save nearly $8,000 annually in printing costs. These improvements impact more than 3,400 business customers each year. New in 2014 To kick off 2014, the MLCC started out with a faster and easier way to renew liquor licenses, electronically! The MLCC mailed letters to all license holders, which detail the new procedure and provide a new personal identification number (PIN) for online liquor license re- newal, thus creating a new access point for MLCC staff to interact with current license holders. The past practice required a license holder to sub- mit a written form and wait for a password to be as- signed and then mailed to them to gain access to the MLCC website to renew their liquor license. With the ever increasing demands of businesses even the sim- plest task, such as requesting a password, seems monu- mental when trying to prioritize the issues most criti- cal to their business. In fact, during the 2013 renewal period, only 11 percent of liquor licensed businesses

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