Food, Drug & Agriculture

In the world of American alcohol and beverage regulation, as of the spring of 2020, Carrie Bonnington had seen it all. The Sacramento-based partner at Pillsbury leads that law firm’s wine, beer, and spirits practice, advising alcohol manufacturers, distributors, and retailers across the United States. She was appointed to the executive committee of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators in 2019, and she’s taught a class in wine law at the UC Berkeley School of Law. But when the COVID-19 pandemic started to upend how her clients did business, something happened that she’d thought she’d never see in California.…
The California Legislature is considering a bill that, if passed, would make the state’s liquor laws more flexible, with the aim of helping restaurants more nimbly adapt to outdoor dining as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on. SB 314, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would permanently authorize restaurant parklets and allow cities to create open-container zones. The bill would also make it legal for bars and restaurants to share spaces with other businesses, allowing them to save money on rent and making it easier for pop-up restaurants to establish themselves. “Bars & restaurants are struggling,” Weiner wrote in…
Over 50 Bay Area restaurants and wineries served Gov. Gavin Newsom with a lawsuit Tuesday asking that he take back his order for regional bans on outdoor dining. The class action suit brought by the Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening seeks to enjoin Newsom’s December ban on outdoor dining and wine tasting. Public Health Director Tomás J. Aragón is also named in the complaint. The complaint requests that the outdoor dining ban be rescinded for the entire Bay Area region, or just Napa and Sonoma Counties. Newsom’s order divided the state into regions and imposed strict regulations in regions…