DISCUS Urges Mass. to Extend Cocktails-to-Go Legislation

In just two weeks’ time -- on April 1 -- cocktails to-go will no longer be allowed in Massachusetts despite providing stability to local restaurants and convenience to consumers unless the legislature acts to extend or make the measure permanent, the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. warned.

“Cocktails to-go were allowed during the pandemic to support struggling hospitality businesses which represent thousands of jobs across Massachusetts,” said Andy Deloney, senior vp & head of state public policy at DISCUS. “Since then, cocktails to-go have become a regular part of takeout dining for adult consumers and a stable source of revenue for hospitality businesses as they continue to recover from the lasting impacts of COVID-19.

"These businesses are now facing new economic challenges like staffing shortages, supply chain issues and record-high inflation. Stripping them of an added revenue source amid these economic hardships just doesn’t make sense,” Deloney said.

Two bills, HB 57 and SB 23, are being considered by the legislature that could extend cocktails to-go for one year until April 1, 2024. Cocktails to-go language is also included in the House supplemental budget.