Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–303. Restrictions on holding a conflicting interest.

(a) Before issuing, transferring to a new owner, or renewing a license, the Board shall determine that the applicant is not disqualified because of a conflicting interest in another license, as follows:

(1) No licensee under a wholesaler’s license shall hold a license of any other class or kind.

(1A) No holder of a manufacturer's license shall hold a license of any other kind; provided, that a licensee under a manufacturer's license shall be permitted to hold another manufacturer's license of the same or a different class.

(2) No licensee under an on-premises retailer’s license, class C or D, shall hold any other license except an on-premises retailer’s license, class C or D, a pub crawl license, as defined by regulation, or a caterer's license.

(3) No licensee under an off-premises retailer’s license, class A or B, shall hold an interest in any other license.

(b) The Board shall not reject, solely on the basis of this section, the application of a franchisee who controls, or will control, the entire interest in the receipts, profits, inventory, purchases, pricing, and sales of beverages under the license, if the franchisee held a license, or had an application for a license pending, on June 22, 1982.

(c) The requirements of this section shall not apply to an applicant for an off-premises retailer’s license, class B, for the sale of alcoholic beverages in an establishment if:

(1) The primary business and purpose is the sale of a full range of fresh, canned, and frozen food items, and the sale of alcoholic beverages is incidental to the primary purpose;

(2) The sale of alcoholic beverages constitutes no more than 15% of the total volume of gross receipts on an annual basis;

(3) The establishment is located in a C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, or C-5 zone or, if located within the Southeast Federal Center, in the SEFC/C-R zone;

(4) The establishment is a full service grocery store which is newly constructed with a certificate of occupancy issued after January 1, 2000, or is an existing store which has undergone renovations in excess of $500,000 after January 1, 2000;

(5) The opinion of the ANC, if any, has been given great weight; and

(6) The applicant does not hold a manufacturer’s or wholesaler’s license.

(d)(1) A manufacturer, or its affiliate, licensed under this title, may hold an interest in a limited partnership providing financial assistance to a general partner wholesaler as described in paragraph (2) of this subsection, but shall only exercise such control of the limited partnership business as is permitted by this chapter. The limited partner shall not have or exercise managerial control or decision-making authority with respect to daily operations of the limited partnership. Upon a default by the general partner wholesaler, the limited partner shall not acquire or assume additional control, ownership, or financial interest in the limited partnership. The manufacturer, or its affiliate licensed in the District shall not have a financial or ownership interest in the general partner wholesaler.

(2) The only financial assistance allowed pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be the initial financial assistance to the limited partnership to acquire a licensed beer wholesaler. In that arrangement for financial assistance, the wholesaler license issued under this title shall be issued in the name of the general partner wholesaler on behalf of the limited partnership, and shall not be issued in the name of the limited partnership nor in the name of the manufacturer, or its affiliate.

(3) The limited partnership providing the financial assistance described in this section shall not exist for more than 10 years from the date of its creation, and shall not be recreated, renewed, or extended beyond that date.

(4) This section shall not amend or otherwise alter this title, except for the limited purpose of allowing a manufacturer, or its affiliate, which is licensed in the District, to provide financial assistance to a limited partnership for the exclusive purpose of acquiring a licensed beer wholesaler. A manufacturer or its affiliate shall not require the wholesaler to use the financial assistance as described above.

(e) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a wholesaler or other licensee under this title from obtaining, perfecting, or enforcing a security interest under Article 9 of Subtitle I of Title 28 in any personal property or fixtures of a retailer or other licensee, including inventory and accounts and other rights to payment.

(f) The requirements of this section shall not apply to an applicant for an off-premises retailer's license, class B, for the sale of alcoholic beverages in an establishment if the:

(1) Establishment will be located inside of a hotel and will have no direct public access to the street or the outside of the hotel's building;

(2) Other license held by the applicant is a hotel, restaurant, or tavern retailer's license that is also located within the same hotel as the establishment's proposed location;

(3) Establishment's sale of alcoholic beverages constitutes no more than 25% of the total volume of gross receipts on an annual basis; and

(4) Opinion of the ANC, if any, has been given great weight.


(Jan. 24, 1934, 48 Stat. 327, ch. 4, § 12; Sept. 29, 1982, D.C. Law 4-157,§ 7, 29 DCR 3617; Mar. 7, 1987, D.C. Law 6-217, § 7, 34 DCR 907; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-40, § 2(c), 38 DCR 4974; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298,§ 101, 48 DCR 2959; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-190, § 1702(e), 49 DCR 6968; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 101(i), 51 DCR 6525; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-361, § 2(b), 56 DCR 1204; Oct. 20, 2011, D.C. Law 19-23, § 2(b), 58 DCR 6509; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 2162, 62 DCR 10905; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-260, § 2(c)(1), 64 DCR 2079; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(c)(2), 65 DCR 9366.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-303.

1973 Ed., § 25-113.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-112, § 25-118, and § 25-722.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-190, in subsec. (c), substituted “during the preceding 12 months” for “in the calendar year” and made a nonsubstantive change in par. (4), made a nonsubstantive change in par. (5), and added par. (6).

D.C. Law 15-187 rewrote par. (5) of subsec. (c); and added subsec. (d). Prior to amendment, par. (5) of subsec. (c) had read as follows: “(5) The opinion of the ANC in which the establishment is located has been given great weight as specified in Chapter 4; and”.

D.C. Law 17-361, in subsec. (c)(4), substituted “after January 1, 2000” for “during the preceding 12 months in which an application is made”.

D.C. Law 19-23, in subsec. (c)(3), substituted “or, if located within the Southeast Federal Center, in the SEFC/C-R zone;” for a semicolon; and, in subsec. (c)(5), substituted “weight; and” for “weight.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added (e).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Alcoholic Beverage Control New Grocery Store Development Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-306, April 7, 2000, 47 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Alcoholic Beverage Control New Grocery Store Development Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-369, July 10, 2000, 47 DCR 5834).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1702(e) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-453, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8026).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Southeast Federal Center/Yards Non-Discriminatory Grocery Store Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-674, December 28, 2010, 58 DCR 130).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2162 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 13-145 added subsec. (d) to read as follows:

“(d)(1) The requirements of this section shall not apply to an applicant for an off-premises retailer’s license, Class B for the sale of alcoholic beverages in an establishment:

“(A) Where the primary business and purpose is the sale of a full range of fresh, canned, and frozen food items, and where the sale of alcoholic beverages is incidental to the primary purpose;

“(B) Where the sale of alcoholic beverages constitutes no more than 15% of the total volume of gross receipts on an annual basis;

“(C) Where the establishment is located in a C-1, C-2, C-3,C-4, or C-5 zone;

“(D) Where the establishment is a newly constructed, full-service grocery store with a Certificate of Occupancy issued after January 1, 2000; and

“(E) When the decision of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in which the establishment is located has been given great weight.

“(2) The exemption in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to a grocery store which has its structure replaced or has substantially altered its structure as the result of a renovation.”

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 13-145 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 2(b) of D.C. Law 18-346, in subsec. (c)(3), substituted “or, if located within the Southeast Federal Center, in the SEFC/C-R zone;” for a semicolon; and, in subsec. (c)(5), substituted “; and” for a period at the end.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-346 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.