Following a recent settlement between the California Attorney General’s Office and a number of alcoholic beverage retailers, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is proposing to clarify the Proposition 65 warning requirements for alcoholic beverages sold on the internet, in catalogs, and via third-party providers. The most prominent item in the settlement’s methods and in OEHHA’s proposed amendments are that alcoholic beverages sold online or through a catalog must have a warning on the internet site or in the catalog, as well as a warning provided to the purchaser or delivery recipient prior to or at the same time as delivery (e.g., a warning label on a bottle or can).

The amendments would affect industry stakeholders such as retailers, manufacturers, and third-party providers. Affected businesses will likely benefit from the proposed regulatory action because the amendments provide clarifying guidance concerning the provision of Proposition 65 warnings for alcoholic beverages purchased via the internet (including mobile applications) or through catalogs. However, with the increased use of third-party providers to facilitate sales, businesses may need to change their current standards to ensure that warnings are provided to the purchaser or delivery recipient prior to or at the same time as delivery.

The above regulations are intended to clarify warning obligations, but in the process arguably increase costs for regulated parties, some of whom question the need for duplicative warnings. Public comments concerning this proposed action must be received by OEHHA by March 31, 2020.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please see our client alert on this topic, or drop one of us a note.