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Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration

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ABCA issues alcoholic beverage licenses to wholesalers in the District. A wholesaler's license permits the sale of alcoholic beverages to the following:

  • Another alcoholic beverage licensee in the District for resale
  • Any alcoholic beverage licensed dealer in the United States for resale
  • A consumer if the product is beer or wine

ABCA issues two types of licenses to wholesalers:

  • Wholesaler's license class A: Permits the sale of spirits, wine and beer
  • Wholesaler's license class B: Permits the sale of wine and beer

Prior to being sold or delivered alcoholic beverages must be:

  • delivered and unloaded at the wholesaler’s licensed premises  
  • kept inside the premises for a minimum of four hours and 3 recoded in the Wholesaler’s inventory  

License Renewals

Wholesaler class A licenses are due to be renewed by March 31, 2024. Complete details are available online. Wholesaler class B licenses are due to renew by September 30, 2023. A complete schedule of renewal deadlines are available on ABCA's website


A wholesaler may be represented by a solicitor. A solicitor is required to obtain a solicitor's license from ABCA. The license authorizes a solicitor to sell alcoholic beverages on behalf of the wholesaler whose name appears on the license and whom the solicitor represents. A solicitor's license allows the licensee to transport samples to and from licensed establishments. Solicitors are due to renew licenses by June 30, 2023.

Primary American Source Requirement

A wholesaler licensed to distribute alcoholic beverages in the District of Columbia may only purchase and sell products obtained from the primary American source of supply, which is defined as the:

  • Manufacturer or importer of the brand of alcoholic beverages at the time that the beverage became a marketable product in the United States or its duly authorized agent.


A wholesaler can obtain a tasting permit in order to provide samples of products to the following:

  • Retailers;
  • Manufacturers; 
  • Temporary and festival license holders; and
  • Wholesaler staff.

Wholesalers are not permitted to provide samples of products to the public. Wholesalers can only conduct tastings at a designated common area of a warehouse where the wholesaler is a tenant. Samples may be provided during the wholesaler’s approved hours of operation. Samples of alcoholic beverages can be provided to an individual in the following quantities in one day:

  • 3 ounces of spirits (class A);
  • 6 ounces of wines (class A or B); and
  • 12 ounces of beer (class A or B).

Wholesaler Forms

If you are making any changes to an already licensed business, find the proper form here:

Additional Resources