WASHINGTON – A new alcohol delivery service in D.C. has been ordered to shut down.
Ultra, an online alcohol delivery service, recently launched in the District.
In a cease and desist order issued Wednesday, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration said that Ultra sells alcohol without a license and must stop operations immediately.
Under D.C. law, no person can sell alcohol or solicit orders without a license. Licensed liquor stores in the District, however, are allowed to conduct online sales and deliveries.
The company says it wants more information from the board but will comply with the court order.
“We would like to work within the applicable rules and guidelines issued by ABRA in D.C. We plan to respond to this order and seek clarification regarding how we can change our operations to fully comply with ABRA regulations,” according to a statement released by Ultra.
Ultra CEO Aniket Shaw says that “there was no surprise” that the company received the letter, saying that the only issue was with the structure of the transactions, not the basic fact that ultra delivers alcohol.
“We were a little surprised that ABRA decided to ding us on that specific aspect of our business process.”
He compared the company’s operations to firms such as Groupon and Living Social, which offer deals for restaurants that include alcohol.
Ultra operates in several other cities in the U.S., including in Maryland.