Thanks to a new bill, when life gives kids in Texas lemons, they can not only make lemonade but also sell it. Last week, the Texas House of Representatives passed legislation that would legalize lemonade stands run by children in the state.
House Bill 234 would allow minors under the age of 18 to sell lemonade and other nonalcoholic beverages without any permits or licenses.
“Today is lemonade freedom day,” representative Matt Krause, the bill’s sponsor, told Dallas News. “[It’s] one small step for lemonade [and] one giant leap for young entrepreneurs.”
One of those entrepreneurs, eight-year-old Branson Burton, testified in a House of State Affairs committee meeting last month, explaining, “This bill will support me and thousands of other kids to have the chance to start their own lemonade business without having to go figure out and pay for city permits or being worried about getting in trouble with the health department.”
Currently, under the Texas Food Establishment Rules, the sale of homemade drinks is illegal due to health and sanitation concerns. For that ban to be overturned, HB 234 will have to be approved by the Senate.
According to Krause, he was inspired to sponsor the bill following the launch of Country Time Lemonade’s “Legal-Ade” campaign. After a rash of kid-run lemonade stands across the country were shut down by police for not having the proper permits, the beverage company started a program to reimburse parents up to $300 to cover fees and licenses associated with setting up a stand.
If HB 234 passes, Texas will join Utah and Colorado as the few states that allow exceptions to health laws for kids to operate lemonade stands. It’s something that even Texas governor Greg Abbott supports, tweeting, “It’s a shame that a law for this is even needed.”
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 20, 2019