As we mentioned in June, the new laws for shipping into Arizona are scheduled to take effect on September 21st. However, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control has not made available the forms or processes necessary for obtaining a permit and is not expected to until at least September 21st. Once the forms are available, only wineries producing less than 20,000 gallons (roughly 8,400 cases) can apply for a direct shipping permit. FedEx will begin shipping to Arizona on September 21st for permitted wineries.
As expected, a group will immediately challenge the new laws in court. Because the 20,000 gallon capacity cap will exclude 90% of wine produced outside of Arizona but include all but one Arizona winery, the rules are seen as discriminatory and in violation of Granholm. The lawsuit will be watched closely by everyone in the industry since several states have introduced similar capacity caps.
We’ll keep you updated as the permits become available and the lawsuit unfolds.