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Questions about Florida licensing across multiple tiers

FIVE x 5 Consulting


These questions came in from an anonymous ADI member:

1.) Can an individual who holds an 8COP liquor license in Florida own a distillery as well?

2.) Can an 8COP be used alongside a CMB, 2COP, and a DD license from the Florida DBPR at the same location? 

3.) Would the 8COP need to be used at a different location?

4.) In order to distribute from one location to another location(manufacturing facility with tasting room to a bar/music venue that we own as well), would we need to create a distributorship in a spouse's name whose name is not on any of the manufacturing licenses?

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A quick reading of Florida Statute 561.42 appears to preclude you from owning both a retail  (“vendor”) license (e.g. bar/restaurant/liquor store) and a manufacturer’s (DD/craft distillery) license.  Language that prevents you from participating in multiple tiers within the 3-tier system (manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing) is typical- many states have similar prohibitions.



There’s more.  561.22 explicitly forbids you from gaining a vendor license if you are manufacturer, and vice versa: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0500-0599/0561/Sections/0561.22.html

With that said, it appears that 561.221 pokes some holes in 561.22 and allows you to have some limited retail interest if you are a wine producer or a beer producer.  However, this exception does not appear to apply to distilled spirits. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0500-0599/0561/Sections/0561.221.html

I am not a beer/wine consultant so take this with a grain of salt.

I think the answer to all your questions is “no” or “moot” – since you cannot hold the DD and retail/vendor licenses simultaneously.

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