MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Lemonade stands are often a child’s first insight into business, a way to help kids understand the value of money, exercise their creativity and develop professional skills.
“We all decided it would just be fun to get together and make some money selling lemonade,” said eighth-grader Xander Alarie.
For 15-year-old Alarie, out of Montgomery County, nine years ago he and a few others did just that.
“We ended up making a lot of money and it got officials attention that there were people selling lemonade there,” Alarie said.
In June 2011, officials in Montgomery County fined Alarie’s grandfather $500 for their lemonade stand.
“…confused on why they were there for us,” Alarie said.
Although the fine was rescinded, Alarie is not alone. Right now, according to Country Time Lemonade’s national campaign launched back in 2018 called “Legal-ade,” Maryland is just one of 36 states where it is illegal to run a lemonade stand.
But that could soon change.
“We need to teach children it’s ok to have an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Delegate Neil Parrott, from District 2A in Washington County.
Delegates Parrott and Steve Johnson are working to pass House Bill 52, which would prohibit a municipality, county or local authorities from enforcing laws that ban or regulate the sale of lemonade by children on private property.
Alaria sat alongside the two delegates to testify on Tuesday.
“I think kids should be able to sell lemonade, hot chocolate, food- whatever they want to sell, but especially on their property,” Alarie said.
Lawmakers said the idea goes far beyond the concept of just “lemonade stands.”
“It’s way bigger than the bigger picture, it’s about supporting our kids. And at the end of the day, let kids just be kids,” Del. Johnson said.
If the Maryland lemonade proposal were to pass it would go into effect October 1, 2020.