News Blog / Monthly Archives: August 2019

An Overview of Texas Senate Bill 21

Texas recently joined several other states in forbidding the use by or sale of all tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, with exceptions existing for people actively serving in the military.

The new legislation became official when Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill, Senate Bill 21, into law in June. The previous legal age had been 18, which is what it remains in most states in the country. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the law is that it includes a ban until the age of 21 on e-cigarettes and vaping products, which have become particularly popular among teenagers.

The hope is that in enforcing this ban, the state can save some lives and do more to prevent young people from establishing a habit that could turn addictive and deadly. Now, any business with a tobacco permit in Texas must be sure to adhere to the new legislation.

About the ban

An eye-opening report from the United States surgeon general indicates approximately 90 percent of smokers began smoking by the age of 18. The habit is, of course, deadly—an estimated 1,200 people die as a result of tobacco addiction every single day. This number only accounts for about half the number of teens and young adults who begin smoking every day.

Furthermore, the report indicates the number of people who begin smoking after the age of 25 is negligible at best. This makes it even more important to stamp out the habit at a younger age, as the younger a person is when they begin using tobacco, the more likely it is that they will develop an addiction that can be very difficult to break.

There are hundreds of cities that have already established similar bans. In Beverly Hills, California, tobacco sales are now banned for everyone, no matter their age. Other states that have raised the minimum age to 21 include Arkansas, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

It is e-cigarettes and vaping products that many blame for a recent resurgence in tobacco use among high school aged students. Tobacco use had been on a steady decline, but the rise in vaping caused a 38 percent increase in tobacco use among minors between 2017 and 2018. These products rapidly became the most commonly used tobacco product among teenagers, easily passing cigarettes, cigars and other forms of tobacco. They are attractive because of the wide variety of flavors in which they’re available, which can make them easier to get into than cigarettes, and because there is a perception that they aren’t as “dangerous” or “unhealthy” as other forms of tobacco, which simply is not true.

Even Juul, the largest manufacturer of e-cigarette products, recently gave its support to laws pushing the age for tobacco to 21.

For more information about Senate Bill 21 and how it affects businesses with a tobacco permit in Texas, we encourage you to reach out to the team at LaBarba Permit Service today.

Why Is a Liquor License So Important?

If you’re starting a business in Texas, you’re likely thinking about the wide range of permits and zoning requirements that you’ll have to obtain. Depending on the type of business that you’re starting, however, you may also need to purchase a liquor license in Dallas, TX for your enterprise.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in the Lone Star State.

Whether you’re hoping to sell and serve liquor onsite or are simply hoping to sell liquor as a retail function, you’ll have to obtain a license through your county’s branch of the TABC. This often requires significant legal expertise and a familiarity with the inner workings of the TABC. Working with a qualified permit service is usually the best way to go about accomplishing this.

Types of Licenses

Before applying for a liquor license in Dallas, TX, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with the different types of licenses available, and ensure that you’re applying for the correct type of license. Here are the most common types of liquor licenses that you’re likely to encounter:

  • Restaurant license: If your establishment will primarily sell food, but you also want to offer a menu of spirit-based drinks, as well as beers and wine, you can apply for a restaurant liquor license. This will allow you to sell any alcohol, so long as food makes up the larger volume of your sales.
  • Beer and wine license: For businesses that plan to offer beer and wine sales, but nothing that’s spirit-based, you can use a beer and wine license. These licenses are often easier and more cost-effective to obtain, because they restrict the type of alcohol that you’re allowed to sell.
  • Tavern liquor license: If you sell both alcohol and food, but the bulk of your sales volume comes from liquor sales, you’ll need to obtain a tavern license. This is similar to a restaurant license, but may require some extra levels of compliance.
  • Server license: Some jurisdictions may require individual servers to also have liquor licenses, as well as licenses issued to the establishment itself. It’s important to make sure that you never have anyone under the age of 21 handling alcohol, as this could jeopardize your permit status.

Once you apply for a liquor license, you’ll have to prepare your establishment for an inspection performed by your local TABC branch. It’s best to prepare for your inspection as early as possible. It may be worthwhile to hire a permit service to come and look through your restaurant or retail space prior to the inspection to ensure that everything is in line with state and local standards.

LaBarba Permit Service is a trusted expert helping businesses of all sizes obtain liquor licenses in Dallas, TX. We work with companies to help them maintain state compliance and secure the permits necessary to do business. To learn more about ways that we can help you cut through the red tape and maintain your TABC compliance, reach out to one of our friendly, knowledgeable representatives here at LaBarba Permit Service today.

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