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Alcohol Licensing - Everything You Didn't Know to make sure you are in Compliance

Date: Aug 22, 2019

Session Description

Requirements for temporary liquor licensing for special events that counties, municipalities, nonprofit civic organizations, charitable organizations need to know. John Harris, a 49 year veteran in FL alcohol laws/rules/policies will review the requirements for these special event permits as well as answer questions to help you understand the privileges and restrictions of these permits when issued. He was with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco and participated in the original language creating these permits in 1972.

Targeted Experience Level:
Beginner, Intermediate

John Harris John Harris


Alcohol Beverage & Tobacco Licensing and Compliance Consultant, Gray Robinson

John’s foundation of knowledge in alcohol beverage and tobacco regulations; government processes; government decision makers; alcohol beverage dealer training; and liquor and business licensing were developed during his 28 year government career. Serving under six governors, his entire government career was with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco, (“ABT”), retiring after leading the agency for eight years as its deputy director and director.

Today, John has more than 49 years of experience in government and as a consultant. His government career began at ABT working in the mail room. He was promoted to serve in every law enforcement position there, as well as the division’s hearing officer, Chief of Enforcement, administrative rules and laws expert, and director. He was also appointed interim director of Florida's Pari-Mutuel Wagering Division; and interim secretary for the Department of Business Regulation.

John retired from public service in 1996 to work with an attorney, and they formed a group of lawyers and professionals who now comprise GrayRobinson's Alcohol Beverage and Regulated Products Team, consulting clients throughout the United States for the last 20 years. John’s clients include all tiers of the alcohol industry (manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, brand owners, and retailers) as well as capital fund managers, the food industry, and professionals required to be licensed by states. GrayRobinson’s Licensing Team prepares state and local liquor, business, and professional license applications including federal license applications. John represents clients before city, county, state and federal licensing agencies. His practice includes licensing; tax audits; enforcement notices; formal complaints; compliance certifications; drafting administrative rules; drafting bills for legislative action; drafting petitions for declaratory statements; drafting petitions for administrative rule waivers; responsible alcohol dealer serving practices; analyzing alcohol beverage criminal and civil complaints; compliance with regulations; and meets with government decision makers and their staff.

He has been recognized by the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, the National Alcohol Beverage Control State’s Association, the American Bar Association, attorneys, consultants, government agencies, legislative leaders, professionals, business owners, and non-profit groups. He also has experience solving business and professional licensing and regulatory problems with local and state executive-branch agencies. He has drafted many of Florida’s alcohol regulations and laws, while working for both ABT and GrayRobinson. His widespread knowledge of alcohol laws, regulations, government policies, and how the government operates give him a unique consulting perspective to assist clients.
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