NJ governor signs bill allowing takeout and delivery of pre-mixed cocktails, exempting tax on alcohol used to make hand sanitizer

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill on Friday that allows distilleries and businesses holding retail consumption licenses to offer to-go mixed drinks and other alcoholic beverages in sealed containers no larger than a pint.

Distilleries that have pivoted to making hand sanitizer will not be taxed for alcohol that is used to make those products.

The provisions of the bill expire six months after the end of the state of emergency or on the day that coronavirus-related executive and administrative orders expire, whichever is later. 

Lawmakers said the move helps restaurants and bars recapture revenue and have a more sustainable cash flow.

“During my communications with our restaurant owners, they repeatedly asked for us to get this done,” said Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth). “It will help to increase their sales and revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic.” 

Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset) said giving distillieries some financial leeway is a way to thank them for their role helpign people stay safe during the pandemic.

“Despite their own struggles, distilleries have come to our aid and established themselves as selfless partners in this fight by shifting some of their production to hand sanitizer,” Freeman said.