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Bethesda Magazine: Comptroller supports extending alcohol delivery, carryout

This story was updated at 7:23 p.m. on May 28, 2020 to include a comment from a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot said he supports the Montgomery County Council’s request to extend alcohol delivery and carryout to help restaurants suffering economically during the coronavirus pandemic.

The council on Friday wrote a letter to Franchot and Gov. Larry Hogan about alcohol sales. County officials urged them to allow the services for wine, beer and spirits past the duration of the state of emergency and keep the provision in place until the Maryland General Assembly meets in January.

State representatives could then decide whether to write the provisions into law or discontinue it.

Some owners of restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and wineries in the county have said the provision has saved their businesses from closing, the council wrote.

In a response to the council on Tuesday, Franchot, the state’s chief fiscal officer and alcohol regulator, wrote that he agrees with the premise of the council’s letter and would lend his support to the request.

“Like each of you, I hope that the Maryland General Assembly will appreciate the benefits associated with these measures — both for small businesses and consumers — and will act during the 2021 session to memorialize them into law,” Franchot wrote.

Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Hogan, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat on Thursday that Hogan has not provided a response to the council’s letter yet but they “should have more [information] on this tomorrow.”

The provision is a lifeline for many small businesses that otherwise would have failed in the early weeks of the pandemic, Franchot wrote.

“They must remain so as our hospitality industry faces months and even years of transition, uncertainty, and hopeful recovery.”

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at

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