New Hampshire and Illinois Are Legalizing Unlicensed Lemonade Stands
Illinois and New Hampshire both recently passed bills to legalize a favorite American summer tradition: lemonade stands operated by kids.
New Hampshire’s bill passed the legislature last week and is awaiting a signature from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu. It allows kids under the age of 14 to sell soft drinks on their private property without getting licenses or permits from cities and towns that otherwise require them. The term “soft drink” includes not only lemonade but also other mixed, non-alcoholic beverages.
The bill received a surprising amount of pushback in the state legislature. The applicable age was 18 when the bill was introduced but was later amended to 14. Some state legislators also thought that the bill was unnecessary, as there has never been a publicized incident of an authority shuttering an unlicensed lemonade stand in the past.
“This seems to me like one of those solutions in search of a problem,” Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy (D) told WMUR.
But just because this tolerated illegality hasn’t caused a problem yet, doesn’t mean that it won’t cause a problem in the future if the bill doesn’t become law. Consider the incident in Illinois that spurred Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign a similar bill two weeks ago.
In 2017, then 9-year-old Hayli Martenez opened a lemonade stand in her front yard in a low-income neighborhood of Kankakee, Illinois. She charged 50 cents per cup. All of the profit went to her college fund.
“As we kept doing it, I got to see everybody smile when th
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