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Liquor Licensing Residency Requirements - Supreme Court Decision With Local Impact

Most, if not all, Maryland jurisdictions have historically had a residency requirement to the issuance of liquor licenses.  In June of 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas, found that a Tennessee law which imposed resident requirements on liquor license applicants violated the Commerce Clause by discriminating against nonresident economic actors.  The court held that a two year residency requirement favored Tennesseans over out of state persons and was not narrowly tailored to advance a legitimate local purpose.  In response to this Supreme Court decision, the Howard County Board of License Commissioners announced that it will no longer require that one applicant on a license be a Howard County resident.

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