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Laws of the 1st Regular Session of Arizona’s 52nd Legislature: Part 1 – Food and Drink

In this multi-part series, we will be looking at some of the laws that Governor Doug Ducey signed during the 1st Regular Session of Arizona’s 52nd Legislature. Unless otherwise stated, all laws discussed below went into effect on July 3. We will not cover all of the 278 bills signed into law, but if there is a particular bill you are interested in, please email Emily at erice@b3strategies.com and we will try to include it in an upcoming post.

This post will look at new laws related to food and drinks, especially new rules on alcohol.

SB 1030 – Microbreweries; Multiple Licenses; Production; Sales

Arizona Craft Brewers Guild supported SB 1030, also known as the Arizona Beer Bill.

Nicknamed the Arizona Beer Bill, SB 1030 was signed into law at the Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, Arizona on March 31. Sponsored by Sen. Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), SB 1030 enacts several changes to the three-tier system for breweries to allow growing breweries, such as Four Peaks, to continue operating their restaurants after they reach production of over 1.24 million gallons of beer per year. The bill increases  the maximum amount of beer a microbrewery is permitted to make to 6.2 million gallons.

According to the Arizona Beer Bill website, “Without the proposed changes in our current statutes, Arizona breweries will be forced to shutter their restaurants and tasting rooms.  Our proposed solution allows a microbrewery to grow without having to shut down highly successful restaurants that have proved instrumental in establishing and promoting the products of Arizona’s microbreweries.” A similar bill was introduced in 2014 (HB 2227), but was not heard on the House floor.

The primary effect of the bill is to maintain the status quo so that once a brewery reaches higher levels of production, Arizonans will still be able to visit their microbrewery’s self-operated restaurants and tasting rooms.

SB 1267 – Schools; Exempt Fundraisers

SB 1267 brings junk food back to school fundraisers. Sponsored by Sen. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), the bill requires the Department of Education to issue exemptions to allow both school districts and charter schools to sell foods of “minimal nutritional value” for fundraisers. Foods of minimal nutritional value are defined by 7 Code of Federal Regulations section 210.11(2). To summarize, foods with minimal nutritional value are those foods which provide less than five percent of the Reference Daily Intakes for eight specified nutrients: protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, and iron. Foods like pizza, soda, and candy, which are often utilized by schools for fundraising purposes, are considered foods of minimal nutritional value.

The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service adopted the rules related to foods of minimal nutritional value in 2013 following “The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.”  Schools in states, including Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Texas, have previously passed laws allowing either school boards or the state to issue exemptions to keep junk food fundraising. Exemptions allow schools to host junk food fundraisers for a certain number of days per year, varying between 10 and 50 days per school, per year. With the passage of SB 1267, the Arizona Department of Education will be able to issue exemptions to allow schools across the state to use junk food for fundraising once again.

HB 2317 – Labeling; Arizona Wine

Signed into law on March 30, HB 2317 sets specific requirements for wine labels in order for a wine to be considered an Arizona wine. The requirements state a specific percentage of the wine by volume be produced or manufactured from grapes or other fruit grown in the state and the wine be fermented, processed, bottled and labeled in the state. For instance:

  • To be an Arizona wine or a wine from a particular county, 75% of the wine by volume must be from Arizona,
  • To be labeled as from a specific federally recognized viticultural area, 85% of the wine must be from Arizona,
  • To be labeled as from a specific vineyard, orchard, farm or ranch, at least 95% of the wine must be from Arizona,
  • To be labeled as estate bottled, 100% of the wine must be from Arizona per the requirements above and the wine must have not left the premises of the bottling winery.

The credibility of Arizona wines is an issue that Arizona wineries take very seriously, and wineries have taken each other to court over concerns that the descriptions on wine bottles could mislead consumers to believe wines made with out of state grapes are Arizona wines. If consumers are committed to supporting local industries, they can know that wines labeled as “Arizona wines” are grown and made in-state thanks to HB 2317.

Stay tuned for the next post in the multi-part series on laws passed during the 1st Regular Session of Arizona’s 52nd Legislature.