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Micro bills advance in Annapolis

March 14th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports two bills which could aid the possible development of microbreweries and associated restaurants at Canal Place or elsewhere in Allegany County are advancing in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 643 would allow a microbrewer with a license in one location to apply for and obtain a license for another location, as well as clear up some legal issues on breweries offering direct sales. “It’s a good bill,” said Dee Dee Ritchie, the executive director of Canal Place. The rules would be similar to those allowing wineries in the state to operate and offer sales and food, Ritchie said. Senate Bill 644 would create a microbrewery/restaurant license in Allegany County. Both Senate bills are sponsored by Sen. George Edwards, with companion House bills sponsored by the Allegany County House delegation, consisting of Dels. Wendell Beitzel, Jason Buckel and Michael McKay. SB 643 passed the Senate Wednesday on a vote of 47-0 and is now in the House Economic Matters Committee. The House version of the bill creating the special license passed on 137-0 on March 5, while companion SB 644 has received a favorable committee report. The fee for the license would be $900 annually. The license would allow sales by the drink or by the bottle for on-premises consumption and liquor by the drink for on-premises consumption, in areas including a banquet room or banquet facility. A microbrewer who already operates in Frederick County is interested in locating a shop in a redeveloped Footer Dye Works building at Canal Place.

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