When do I need to file a change of method of operation application?

Any changes from how an application was originally approved should be reported to the SLA.

Licensing has advised us that “If the application is still in a pending status without a determination being made already then all necessary documents should be amended and resubmitted to the examiner to update the information for the license being applied for unless the license being applied for allows certain things.” However, at the meeting on November 2, 2015 with practitioners before the SLA, the message was clear that if changes being proposed require a new look at the pending application because they are material, the Authority is likely to require a withdrawal of the pending application and refiling of the application its entirety with the proposed changes to the method of operation. Changes the Authority deems material include live music or entertainment, outdoor areas being added and the change from a restaurant to a tavern with minimal food requirements.

With respect to farm producer licenses, it has been my experience that the Authority rejects applications to amend the method of operation to include differences in operation attributable to the addition of a branch office. In one case, we had a licensee who was adding a branch office that would for the first time add retail sales and a tasting room for the licensee that previously never did direct retail sale, rather, only used a wholesaler distributor. Despite what we believed to be material and substantive changes to the method of operation, we were asked to withdraw the application and, instead, not consider the branch office operations and how they affect the main license.

While I personally question this treatment of the application given the other positions and regulations in place, I want to report to other practitioners and licensees my experience that the Authority does not require a change of method of operation that adds retail sales, a tasting room and storage at a second location branch office.

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