Bethany Hatef Bethany Hatef

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    Bethany (Beth) K. Hatef advises clients on a wide variety of regulatory and distribution issues in the alcohol beverage industry. Beth regularly counsels alcohol industry clients on federal and state requirements relating to the production, marketing, distribution and sale of beer, wine and spirits. Read Beth Hatef's full bio.

Approaches to Spirits Direct Shipping


By and on Jul 6, 2017
Posted In Distribution, Import/Export, Legislation, Trade Practices

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales of alcohol beverages have been a hot topic in the alcohol industry for the last two decades. The wine direct-shipping landscape has changed greatly over the past 15 or so years, most dramatically by the US Supreme Court’s decision in Granholm v. Heald. Today nearly evert state—plus the District of Columbia—allows wineries...

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Texas Supreme Court Weighs In on Tied House


By on May 8, 2017
Posted In General Interest, Trade Practices

Late last month, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling in Cadena Comercial USA Corp. d/b/a OXXO v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, finding in favor of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and weighing in for the first time on the application of Texas’ tied house law. In a 6-2 decision, the court upheld the...

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Trump Administration Indicates Plans to Increase Enforcement of Recreational Marijuana Laws


By on Feb 27, 2017
Posted In Cannabis, General Interest, Legislation, Uncategorized

To follow up on our prediction last month that the Trump Administration may take a more aggressive stance toward the legalization of marijuana, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated during the February 23 daily briefing that he anticipates greater federal enforcement of marijuana laws.  Spicer emphasized the distinction between medical marijuana (the legalization of...

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The Uncertain Legal Future of Wine Direct Shipping by the Retail Tier


By on Feb 17, 2017
Posted In Distribution, Legislation

The Supreme Court of the United States’ 2005 decision in Granholm v. Heald, which required states allowing their own wineries to direct-ship to consumers to also grant such privileges to out-of-state wineries, marked the beginning of a new era of wine direct-shipping. With the relaxation of wine shipping laws around the country following Granholm—nearly every...

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Eighth Circuit Hints at Unconstitutionality of Missouri Restrictions on Alcohol Advertising


By on Jan 24, 2017
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, General Interest, Trade Practices

Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit weighed in on the legality of restrictions on alcohol advertising under the First Amendment, issuing an opinion in Missouri Broadcasters Association v. Lacy that could eventually broaden free speech protections for alcohol beverage advertisements. After the lower court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss and...

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DC Council Passes Amendments to Alcohol Beverage Code


By on Jan 11, 2017
Posted In Legislation, Uncategorized

In early December 2016, the Council of the District of Columbia (the Council) unanimously passed the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2016 (the Act). The Act amends a number of provisions of DC’s alcohol beverage laws, several of which particularly affect DC manufacturers, brew pubs, wine pubs and distillery pubs.

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Texas Court Strikes Down Prohibition on Payments for Brand Rights


By on Aug 30, 2016
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Distribution

Late last week, a district judge in Texas declared unconstitutional under the Texas Constitution a provision of the state’s Beer Industry Fair Dealing Law (i.e., the beer “franchise” law) that expressly prohibits a brewer from accepting a payment in exchange for a grant of territorial distribution rights.  Section 102.75(a)(7) of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code,...

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Recent Revisions to Internal Revenue Code Affecting Alcohol Beverages


By on Feb 11, 2016
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes

In December 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act).  The PATH Act amends several provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) administered by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).  Those amendments relate to alcohol excise tax due dates and bond...

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Ninth Circuit Opinion Calls into Question Constitutionality of California Tied-House Laws


By on Jan 8, 2016
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Trade Practices

On January 7, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Retail Digital Network, LLC v. Appelsmith, overruling longstanding Ninth Circuit precedent concerning the legality of certain restrictions on alcohol beverage advertising under the First Amendment and opening the door to part of California’s tied-house scheme potentially being declared...

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Third Circuit Affirms MillerCoors Victory in Wholesaler Contract Dispute


By on Mar 3, 2015
Posted In Distribution

On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its opinion in Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. v. MillerCoors LLC, No. 14-1008 (3d Cir. 2015), finding in favor of MillerCoors LLC (MillerCoors) that the brewer did not violate its contract with Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. (Fuhrer) or Pennsylvania’s...

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