Maryland lawmakers passed a bill last week to increase the maximum fines for repeat liquor license violations in Baltimore from $3,000 to $20,000. Democratic Gov. Wes Moore is expected to sign it into law; it would take effect July 1.

It’s one of multiple bills that passed during the Maryland General Assembly that impact Baltimore’s liquor laws. After the pandemic saw a loosening of those laws across the state, a push was made to improve the enforcement capabilities of the liquor board. As a state agency, the board has somewhat limited authority in Baltimore, but the bill is a vote of confidence in improvements in their professionalism and modernization.

Nicholas Blendy, the board’s deputy executive secretary, broke down the changes for The Baltimore Banner. Many of the new liquor laws affect individual businesses, from a former duckpin bowling alley to a flower shop.

  • In Baltimore’s 40th District, a Hickory Avenue American Legion can apply for a license that allows it to sell liquor as well as beer and light wine.
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  • In Baltimore’s 46th District, the Creative Alliance can apply to expand its liquor license to a property it owns across the street.
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  • A7 liquor licenses, or 7-day packaged good licenses, are now authorized citywide.
  • Businesses with a BD7, or 7-day tavern license, can apply to exchange for an A7 license, removing the need for owners to operate a bar on premises.
  • Caves Valley, developer of the Village of Cross Keys, is allowed an 18-month extension for bringing in additional licensees for its marketplace liquor license after facing construction delays.
  • CIAA’s promoter permit is extended two more years, matching their contract with the city to host the tournament.