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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19 StateWays Q Q September/October 2014 +++++++++++++++++++++ CONTROL STATES EXECUTIVE FORUM sells alcohol receive alcohol-awareness training from a state- approved program within 60 days of hire and every three years thereafter. A year after implementing the act and learn- ing that more servers and sellers are trained through the state's "Let's Control It" program than through any of the other 13 state-approved programs, we decided that changes were needed to maintain fidelity to the act, increase effective- ness, and enhance the professionalism of the program. We first changed the delivery format of the program from instructor-centered to learner-centered. The learn- er-centered method involves activities that allow par- ticipants to practice 'saying' and 'doing' what they have learned, helping them retain the information. Moreover, we created a new companion server guide with informa- tion on the skills and techniques servers and sellers need to stay in compliance with state liquor laws. We educated all current and new state certified train- ers on the new delivery format, conducting 15 "Train- the-Trainer" sessions across the state and certifying 225 volunteer trainers with a set of criteria. The division also developed additional tools for law enforcement agencies to help them with their responsi- bilities. We created two ticket-book cards, one listing the most common liquor violations an officer may encounter on duty and the other listing the different privileges cer- tain licenses do and don't include. With a supplemental grant from the National Alcohol Beverage Association (NABCA), the state collaborated with the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association to host two liquor law enforcement-training sessions that covered a wide variety of training, including over- service operations. MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND George F. Griffin Director, Department of Liquor Control T his past year has been an active and important time for the Montgomery County Department of Li- quor Control. Much was accomplished in several key ar- eas: operational, administrative and legislative/regulatory. Some of the events of this last year have also created the opportunity to consider potential changes to the structural framework of the DLC, our operations, and our mission. From a financial standpoint, the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2014, was another in a string of successes. DLC total sales were $265.8 million. This represents growth over the previous year of 3.47%. (That total sales figure only represents revenue directly generated through op- erations; Montgomery County does not collect any excise, sales or other taxes on alcohol). Our Montgomery County DLC-operated retail liquor & wine stores rang up sales of $127,350,541 – an annual increase of exactly 4%. Our warehouse/wholesale sales amounted to $138,432,855. These sales to licensees (both on- and off-premise) were up nearly 3% over last year. It is gratifying to see this growth in the licensee business, led by a resurgent on-premise sector. Our community for the first time now has well over 1,000 licensed, privately owned and oper- ated businesses, and this increased number of licensees is directly due to growth in the restaurant sector. It is also interesting to note that the growth in our wholesale busi- ness was led by the strong performance of beer sales. After years of stagnant growth in the beer sector, our wholesale beer business grew by 4.35% -- fueled by the continuing robust interest in craft beers and micro-brews. Much of this specialty beer growth is driven by our on-premise sec- tor, which is expected to be sustained into the near future. Creating a Vibrant Nightlife It was also a busy year for us on the legislative & regulatory front. A few years ago, the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control launched a community discussion about the future of our local nighttime economy and explored strategies for in- corporating responsible hospitality practices within a vibrant and evolving social market. In 2012, we won a National Association of Counties Award for our "Nighttime Economy Forum" program. Last year, building on this theme, our County Ex- ecutive created a "Nighttime Economy Task Force" to develop specific recommendations for facilitating re- sponsible growth in this area. Several legislative initia- tives resulted from the work of the task force, and DLC was actively involved in drafting and promoting these changes. The laws adopted by the Maryland General As- sembly took effect on July 1st, and include: longer hours of operation for some licensees; new license categories; modified residency requirements for license applicants; the ability of salons and other non-traditional licensed retailers to serve alcohol; and increased flexibility and ex- panded self-distribution rights for local micro-breweries and wineries. This year also promises to be particularly active with additional legislative initiatives. The work of the task force also predictably stimulated conversations regarding the desirability and expectations of operating a control system in Montgomery County. This public discussion,

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