Retail Report: 2021 Regular Session Summary

After having to cut its 2020 session short due to a worldwide pandemic, the Alabama Legislature caught up in 2021 pushing through hundreds of bills in this year’s regular session.

Record budgets, COVID-19 liability protections and emergency process reforms, plus a plethora of alcohol-related legislation, especially related to delivery and shipping, cleared the chambers in 2021. Monday just before midnight, the state health order ends, while the state of emergency for the coronavirus continues to July 6.

And though the regular session is done, one or more special sessions remain possible related to redistricting, prisons, gaming or distribution of COVID-19 relief funds. If business concerns arise, your Alabama Retail Association will be there to look out for your interests.

Of the 1,053 bills introduced in the regular session that began Feb. 2 and ended May 17, almost 100 carried the most concern for retailers.

The 2022 regular session begins Jan.11.

For legislative and other news of relevance to retailers,
read Retail News for the 2021 Regular Session.



Much of the 2021 regular session legislation related to the pandemic. These are key laws that came from those proposals

In future pandemics/epidemics, businesses can stay open under same guidelines (

COVID-19 liability protection applies to claims that arise from March 13, 2020, to July 6, 2022 (

State income tax free: COVID relief benefits and Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants (

Law bans businesses from refusing goods or services based on immunization status (

Alcohol legislation, especially related to delivery or shipment, also dominated the 2021 session

Local, home delivery of sealed beer, wine and liquor can begin Oct. 1; ABC proposes rules (

This summer, breweries can triple/distilleries can double what they can sell daily per customer for off-premise consumption (

WINE: Wineries can ship directly to homessmall wineries can self-distribute and sell directly to consumers; and consumers can purchase up to a case of wine at festivals (

Several 2021 laws also pertain to other retail segments

Pharmacy benefit manager changes effective July 1; apply to contracts as of Oct. 1 (

Restaurants with outdoor dining can allow pet dogs on leases or in carriers, starting Aug. 1 (

Retail sales of consumer fireworks and novelties can begin July 12 in Alabama  (

Effective Aug. 1: Further restrictions on manufacture, distribution, sales and advertising of vape products and nonpayment of tobacco products could result is suspension/revocation of tobacco permit (