Listing category: "Legislative Updates"

BevAlc Roundup: First National Economic Impact Study of the American Wine Industry, Licensing Dilemma, and Small Brewery Taprooms

In today’s roundup, we take a look at the first national economic impact study of the American wine industry, the licensing dilemma, and the large impact that small brewery taprooms are having on direct-to-consumer sales.

BevAlc Roundup: Wine shipping webinar, Sonoma’s tasting room limits, research results on craft beer buyers and spiked ice cream!

In today’s roundup we take a look at the California heatwave, avoiding wine packaging disasters, Sonoma’s limits on wine tasting rooms, Philadephia’s reaction to new PLCB rules and spiked ice cream! We invite winery professionals to attend our webinar this Wednesday, September 27, “How to Get Ready for Holiday Direct-to-Consumer Shipping.” Our guest speaker will […]

BevAlc Roundup: ShipCompliant Beer Summit, Crackdown on Interstate DtC, Oktoberfest-Proof Shoes and Blue Wine

In today’s roundup we’re pleased to announce that Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association will be our featured speaker at the ShipCompliant Beer Summit on Oct. 3. You’ll also find articles on how states are taking a hard look at interstate direct-to-consumer shipping, more news from Pennsylvania, updates from the TTB and new products that […]

BevAlc Roundup: Distribution trends, The New Craft Brewer Seal and a Slave’s Crucial Role in Whiskey History

New distribution trends, The New Craft Brewer Seal and a Slave’s Role in Whiskey History

Colorado Continues to Update Its Reporting Requirements for DtC Sales

Starting July 1, 2017, every sale made to a Colorado resident must be accompanied by a notice indicating the Colorado resident’s obligation to pay the tax due. New notice and reporting requirements for Colorado sales and use tax were set to come into effect on July 1, 2017, which could have a big impact on […]

Direct-to-Consumer Wineries Must Provide More Specifics On Wines Shipped Into Maryland

Wineries that sell direct to consumer (DtC) into Maryland will have a new requirement for new and renewed applications starting July 1, 2017. As a result of a bill signed by Governor Larry Hogan on May 4, 2017, wineries must now submit a list of every wine they intend to sell DtC. Maryland has updated its […]

Pennsylvania To Require Quarterly Reporting for Winery DtC Starting July 31

Wineries shipping direct-to-consumer must now file quarterly reports. On June 7, 2017 the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) sent out notices to Direct Wine Shipper licensees informing them of upcoming quarterly reporting requirements. Under their license, Direct Wine Shippers are required to file in the PLCB+ system quarterly reports describing their sales of wine direct to […]

BevAlc Roundup | Tequila to get U.S. Certification Mark, 2016 DTC Wine Shipments Reach $2.3 billion, and Shifting Trends in the Beer Industry

  Today, our roundup includes Tequila to get U.S. certification mark,  2016 DTC wine shipments reach $2.3 billion, and shifting trends in the beer industry. I hope you enjoy!

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Cancellation of ITDS Pilot Program, DTC Wine Shipments Reach $2.3 Billion in 2016, and Shower Beer

  Today, our roundup includes TTB’s cancellation of ITDS pilot program, DTC wine shipments reach $2.3 billion in 2016, and shower beer. I hope you enjoy!

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Changes to Import Paperwork, 2016 Regulations in Review, and Trademark Disputes in 2016

  Happy New Year! Today, our roundup is back from holiday break and includes TTB’s changes to import paperwork, 2016 regulations in review, and trademark disputes in 2016.

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Plan for COLAs Online, Arizona Releases DtC License, and Craft Beer Year in Review

  Today, our roundup includes updates to TTB’s COLAs Online, Arizona’s new DtC license, and a look at craft beer year in review. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Notice No. 164, ShipCompliant EOY Webinar, and the Dr. Frankenstein of Beer

  I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. Today, our roundup includes a TTB notice on proposed rulemaking for the production of wine, ShipCompliant’s EOY Webinar, and the Dr. Frankenstein of beer. If you read something I missed, let me know!

South Dakota Introduces New Direct Shipper Report

The South Dakota Department of Revenue (DOR) has released a new a version of its Direct Shipment Report which now includes a column for the common carrier tracking number to be included for each shipment. The DOR will also accept reports that wineries create on their own–as long as these bespoke reports have at least […]

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Q&A on FDA Food Facility Requirements, Best Practices for Bringing Products to Market, and the Next Craft Beer Trend

  Today, our roundup includes the TTB’s Q&A on FDA food facility requirements, best practices for bringing products to market, and the next craft beer trend. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | Retail Direct to Consumer Shipping, Climate Change and Wine Production, and Craft Distilleries

  Happy Halloween! Hope you have a fun and safe holiday. Today, our roundup includes a look at some upcoming legislative changes, how climate change is affecting wine production, and archaeological news at Buffalo Trace. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | Overview of the AB InBev-SABMiller merger, BACS 2016, and Harvest reports

I hope you had a great weekend! Today, our roundup includes the mega-merger of AB InBev and SABMiller, harvest reports on grapes and hops, and the Craft Beverage Modernization Act. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

TTB Takes Big Steps to Remove Burdens on Product Approval

The Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has been on a roll recently to reduce regulatory burdens for beverage alcohol suppliers. On September 23, they announced changes to COLAs Online, including a redesign to the appellation and formula sections, and the removal of the alcohol content, net contents, wine vintage, and fax number fields. These fixes […]

BevAlc Roundup | Overview of the TTB’s New Rulings on Formulas, BACS 2016, and Spirits Trends

I hope you had a great weekend! Today, our roundup includes an overview of the TTB’s new formula requirements for wine and spirits, BACS 2016, and spirits trends. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | Overview of the TTB’s New Labeling Regulations, BACS 2016, and the Rise of Canned Wine

I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend! Today, our roundup includes an overview of the TTB’s labeling regulations, BACS 2016, and the rise of canned wine. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

Illinois Third-Party Provider Rule Signed Into Law

On Friday August 26, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2989 into law. As we discussed in detail in a previous blog post, this new bill adds a number of new regulations concerning direct to consumer (DtC) wine sales made into Illinois. To summarize, SB 2989 will require wineries to register with the Illinois Liquor […]

BevAlc Roundup | DOJ’s Final Judgement on the SABMiller Acquisition, Changes in Pennsylvania and Iowa, Music Licensing for Wineries

After a short summer vacation, our Beverage Alcohol Roundup is back! In this issue, we distill the recent DOJ Final Judgement on the SABMiller acquisition, Pennsylvania opens up DtC, and Iowa looks at ways to support growth of their beverage alcohol industries. We hope you find these articles useful. If you read something I missed, please […]

A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread – States Expand Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Food Stores

As the great poet once put it, “A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread . . . O, Wilderness were Paradise enow.” Clearly, people have long deemed that wine and food go together. Despite this sentiment, there are still states with laws restricting when food and alcohol sales can occur at the same time. […]

Virginia Updates Its Website

The Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) recently updated its website, introducing many new features which greatly improves its utility for industry members. Licensees, soon-to-be licensees, and generally anyone else, can now conduct online searches for approved labels, licenses, distribution/franchise details, and many other wine and beer reports. Wineries and breweries can now create […]

Notice | First Reporting Period for South Dakota Direct Shipper’s Fast Approaching

Since January 1, 2016, licensed wineries have been able to make direct-to-consumer (DtC) sales in South Dakota, the latest state to open up. To comply with South Dakota’s DtC rules, wineries are required to file shipping reports and remit sales and excise taxes quarterly. This means that the first reports will be due very soon, […]

A Trio of Alcohol Tax Rules Get Amended

Changes in tax rules are typically pretty dense pieces of legislation, and The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (or “the PATH Act”), signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015, is no exception. But contained within its maze-like clauses are changes to several rules relating to the beverage alcohol industry, […]

Massachusetts’s First Annual Direct Wine Shipping Report

As we are all happily aware, Massachusetts joined the ranks of direct to consumer (DtC) states at the beginning of 2015. Now that a year has passed, wineries will soon have to file an annual shipping report for their DtC sales in the state. As this is the first year the report will be due, […]

Budget Bill’s Passage Brings Early Christmas Presents to Beverage Alcohol Industry

Early in the morning of December 18th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the omnibus budget bill, setting out spending levels for 2016. This bill included two important provisions that will benefit the beverage alcohol industry at large, and the wine industry in particular.

Not COOL: U.S. Wines Could Soon Face Tariffs on Exports to Canada and Mexico

At times, international trade–even among friendly countries–can quickly devolve into a game of tit for tat. If someone doesn’t play fairly, everyone else is going to make a stink about it, and they might even just take their ball and go home. Canada and Mexico have been calling the U.S. out for playing unfairly for […]

A Corrected Interpretation of Massachusetts’s Tax Rules Confirms a Lower Rate for Many Wineries

Sometimes reading laws is like predicting the weather by just looking up at the sky. We can see the dark clouds, but does that mean rain or will they pass by? In the last couple weeks, thanks largely to efforts by Wine Institute, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has announced a correction of some previously […]

Iowa Transitions from Monthly to Semiannual DTC Reporting Schedule

Legislation HB 638 transitioning Iowa from a monthly reporting state to a semiannual reporting state became effective on July 1, 2015. The semiannual reporting periods are based on the calendar year. Direct-to-consumer licensees are required to pay the amount of excise tax due and make a report of total gallons of wine sold and shipped […]

Privatization Vetoed in Pennsylvania, but Will Direct Shipping Survive?

What’s the Deal? Pennsylvania is one of 19 ‘control states.’ (A ‘control state’ is a general term for any state that publicly controls a retail store, a wholesale store or, in states like PA, both). PA is also one of only eight states that do not allow direct-to-consumer shipping by US wineries. This combination of […]

No More Dry Towns in Connecticut, Only Two in New Hampshire

Towns in Connecticut and New Hampshire have approved alcohol sales, increasing consumer access to direct wine shipments. Last fall voters in Bridgewater, the last dry town in Connecticut, repealed the ban on alcohol sales that had been in effect since the 1930’s. With the alcohol ban no longer an issue, licensed direct shippers can ship […]

North Dakota Legislation Lessens Carrier Penalties

North Dakota’s SB 2324 has been signed into law by Governor Jack Dalrymple and will go into effect 8/1/2015. This bill results in reduced penalties for carrier violations in regards to direct shipments of wine to consumers within the state. Under this law, fee penalties will take the place of the misdemeanor and felony charges […]

Shipping Wine to Indiana Just Got Easier

In mid-April we published a post about Senate Bill 113 passing the Senate and moving to the House for review. We have good news: Governor Mike Pence signed Indiana SB 113 into law yesterday, May 4th. This bill was approved by the House with amendments by a vote of 91-7. The Senate agreed to these […]

Good News for Direct Wine Sellers to Indiana

Indiana SB 113, one of two bills this legislative session, has passed the Senate and is currently in the House for review. This legislation, should it pass the House and be signed into law, is good news for both Indiana wine consumers and direct wine sellers to Indiana. In-state and out-of-state wineries would have the […]

Wyoming and Arkansas Amend DTC Laws

The Governor of Wyoming signed H 47 into law on February 25, 2015, doubling the amount of wine a licensed direct shipper can ship to any one address during a 12-month period from 18 liters (two cases) to 36 liters (four cases). The bill becomes effective on July 1, 2015. Prior to sending any direct shipment […]

Approved by TTB, Palcohol Battle Shifts to States

As mostly expected, TTB approved labels for the sale of powdered alcohol. The approval of “Palcohol” labels was announced yesterday by TTB spokesman Tom Hogue speaking to The Associated Press. Lipsmark, the owner of the Palcohol brand, announced the label approvals on its website yesterday: “The TTB approved Palcohol today — finally! It is now […]

Direct Wine Shipping to South Dakota Gets the Green Light

Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law legislation House Bill 1001, passed by the South Dakota legislature that finally ends the state’s prohibition against wine direct shipping. When the new law becomes effective on January 1, 2016, the gates will be open for winery to consumer shipments to the Mount Rushmore state. The passage of […]

Wineries Toast to a New Market – Direct Wine Shipping to Massachusetts

Michigan excise tax shift creates pricing scramble

Michigan Alcoholic Beverage Excise Tax: Important change shifts liabilities from supplier to wholesaler on February 1, 2015 The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is making a significant change to the regulations for alcoholic beverage distribution within the state. Beginning February 1, 2015 Michigan alcoholic beverage wholesalers will be responsible for the filing and payment of […]

New Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Requirements in Maine

Wineries licensed to ship to Maine consumers now have fewer reports to file each year. Maine recently amended its direct-to-consumer law to require that direct shippers file excise tax returns and shipment reports once a year. Unlike the quarterly reporting periods which were based on the calendar year, the annual reporting period corresponds to the license year. The filing […]

Expansion of Allowable Label Revisions by TTB Helps Industry

Last week TTB expanded the list of Allowable Revisions to Approved Alcohol Beverage Labels within the Industry Circular 2014-02. These minor changes come after a major effort last year to reduce the number of new label submissions from domestic suppliers. You can read more about the first change in this blog post. Previously approved labels with […]

Indiana Now Requires Encrypted File Transfer for Alcohol Reports

No one disputes that applying new technology to the process of complying with state liquor regulations is long overdue. However, the new eFile requirements for Indiana excise taxes and shipping reports demonstrates that instituting new digital processes can be challenging. The New Law Beginning with the October filings (due in November), Indiana will require alcohol […]

Is Massachusetts the Most Important Change Since Granholm?

The opening of Massachusetts for direct shipping is perhaps the most important change to the direct shipping market since the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision in 2005. We estimate that within three years of opening for direct shipments on January 1, 2015, Massachusetts will easily vault into the top ten states by shipping revenue […]

Direct Shipping To Massachusetts–Finally!

Eight years after Massachusetts passed an unworkable and overly-restrictive direct shipping bill, and four years since the same law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, Bay State legislators finally passed a workable direct wine shipping law that will allow out-of-state and in-state wineries to ship wine directly to state residents. The new law was […]

Arkansas Confirms Direct Shippers Only Responsible for Statewide Taxes

As wineries were applying for and beginning to use the new DTC shipping licenses for on-site sales to Arkansas consumers, we learned that some of the staff in the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration were telling holders of direct wine shipper licenses that they were responsible for collecting certain local sales and use taxes. […]

New Mexico Changing Online Tax Filing System

Effective Monday, June 16, 2014, New Mexico went live with their TAP online filing system for Combined Reporting System (CRS) returns. Taxpayers who file the CRS return, regardless of if they currently file paper or electronically, will need to take action to create an account with the new system if they wish to file online. […]

TTB Formula Ruling is Big Win for Craft Brewers

After years of persistent petitioning from the Brewers Association, TTB has made big revisions to the formula and labeling requirements for beer. Prior to the ruling made on June 5th, 2014, in many cases craft brewers were required to submit a formula for approval as well as obtain a COLA before they were able to […]

Don’t wait! Kansas Product Renewals are Live

It’s that time of year again; the Kansas label renewal period is upon us. Kansas has pushed the renewal period back by a month this year so licensees will be able to renew previously approved labels from June 1st through July 31st.  But, that doesn’t mean that you should procrastinate! Just like last year, Kansas […]

Don't Delay – Renew your Arkansas Products by June 30th

Arkansas, the latest state to adopt wholesale label registration practices, has begun their first renewal period. The state recently sent out an email communication to all licensees with previously registered labels. Just in case you missed the email, here’s what you need to know: The renewal period will run from June 1st through June 30th, […]

Beer Here: Will Direct to Consumer Beer and Cider Shipments Happen in New York?

Currently there are only a handful of states that offer DTC beer shipments in the country. New York could be next up to bat with a bill that, among other things, would allow beer shipments to cross state lines into the hands of consumers. New York is the 4th largest consumer of beer products in […]

Arizona Tax Reporting Set for 2015 Simplification

In May of 2012, Governor Jan Brewer established the Transaction Privilege Tax Simplification Task Force in order to identify ways the current complex sales tax code could be simplified in the hopes of reducing tax filer stress and increasing tax-filer compliance. The conclusions of this task force, available in full in the Final Report, led […]

South Dakota Direct Shipping Bill Needs One More Push

South Dakota is one of the few remaining states that prohibits the direct-to-consumer shipment of wine, but that could change if supporters of wine shipping quickly encourage the South Dakota House of Representatives to support SB 114. And speed is of the essence since SB 114 must pass out of the House by March 11 […]

Wine & Spirit Suppliers to Arkansas Must Register Products by End of Year

With passage of HB 1480 (now titled “Act 1105“), the state of Arkansas is requiring that all wine and spirits suppliers actively distributing wine and spirits into the state must register each distributed product with the state. Wine & spirits products (beer is not required) currently in distribution must be registered by December 31 and […]

Will Massachusetts Lawmakers Finally Act?

In January of 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court in the case of Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins. This ruling struck down the 30,000 gallon capacity cap, which excluded 98% of domestic wines from shipment to Massachusetts. Although this represented a big […]

2013 Wine Compliance Legislative Updates and a Virtual Seminar Invitation

You may remember reading our posts highlighting what to look for in the legislative season back at the beginning of 2013. Now that many legislative sessions are starting to come to a close, here is a quick check-in on this year’s legislative changes, all of which will be addressed in detail at the ShipCompliant Direct […]

While the Autumn Leaves Change in Montana, So Do Their Wine Direct Shipping Regulations

Montana’s new direct shipping law goes into effect October 1 and will replace the current “Wine Connoisseur’s License” process with a “Direct Shipping Endorsement” permit system. Applications for authorization to ship directly to consumers in Montana are now available. Overall, the new law and licensing process are fairly simple; the Endorsement fee will cost $50 […]

Logistics Shippers and Carrier License Applications Required in North Dakota

An update to North Dakota’s existing direct shipping law is going into effect today, August 1. Passed earlier this year, the new law maintains much of the existing law surrounding direct shipping, but also adds two new licenses, “Logistics Shipper License” and “Alcohol Carrier License”, in addition to new shipment reports. Since April of 2010, […]

Kentucky Election Day Bill Creates New License for Out-of-State Wine and Spirits Suppliers

All out-of-state wine and distilled spirits suppliers that sell to Kentucky distributors are now required to obtain an “Out-of-State Distilled Spirits/Wine Producer/Supplier License” following the passage of SB 13 in April. Before this bill became effective on June 25, 2013, suppliers still needed to register their brands with the ABC prior to selling to Kentucky […]

Limited to On-site Sales, Arkansas Passes Bill to Allow Direct Shipping

On March 21, 2013, House Bill 1749 became Act 483, signifying its passage into law. Once enacted mid-August, the state of Arkansas will be added to the list of states that allow wineries to ship wine directly to consumers — but with many limitations. Aside from the low cost of the license, the requirements under […]

Is the Marketplace Fairness Act Fair for Wineries?

In short, yes, for a couple of reasons: 1. Wineries already pay sales tax in most states 2. The vast majority of wineries will likely be exempt from the law So what is it, exactly? Senate Bill S. 743, more commonly known as the “Marketplace Fairness Act“, is a pretty simple bill that would give […]

Nebraska Tightens up Existing Direct Shipping Law

LB 230 passed Nebraska’s unicameral legislature and was signed by the Governor on April 24, 2013. The new law will go into effect on September 6, 2013. Nebraska is currently open to direct shipping from wineries and retailers (although there was some debate recently as to whether retailers should qualify under the current law), with […]

October 1st Brings New Direct Wine Shipping Regulations to Montana

Montana House Bill 402 was signed by Governor Bullock on April 12, 2013 and creates workable direct wine shipping laws in the state. The new law, effective on October 1, 2013, will replace the flawed consumer licensing system presently in place for wine shipping in Montana. Current regulations require that out-of-state wineries ship only to […]

North Dakota Makes Direct Shipping Easier for Wineries and Retailers

North Dakota legislature has passed, and its Governor has signed into law on April 1, new legislation that will allow wine orders to be shipped from any fulfillment house that obtains a North Dakota “logistics shipper” license, require licensure of common carriers, and make other related changes to the state’s direct shipping law. These new […]

To Stay Afloat, Here is a Life Buoy of Wine Compliance Legislative Updates

As the snow melts here in Boulder, it’s time for a status update on the direct shipping bills we expected to see in 2013, as well as other notable legislation. 1. How are Direct Shipping Bills Stacking Up? Massachusetts has seen six direct shipping bills introduced this session, and though there hasn’t been much movement […]

Virginia DTC Fulfillment House Regulations; ABC Endorses Winery/Fulfillment House Contract Addendum Format

In July, 2009, Virginia ABC notified Virginia Wine Shipper licensees they were prohibited from contracting with third parties for selling and shipping wine into Virginia. Since then industry has been working with Virginia ABC to outline allowable uses of third parties. The culmination of these efforts was a new Virginia regulation which took effect in […]

Virginia and Third Parties – What You Need To Know Before November 4

In July of 2009, the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (Virginia ABC) sent out Circular Letter 09-05 to Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipper and Beer Shipper licensees, prohibiting Direct Shippers from contracting with third parties for receiving or shipping orders on behalf of the licensee. Since then, Virginia has been working with industry members to outline […]

Third Party Providers are Here…To Stay

Last month I had the privilege of addressing a group of control state regulators, industry attorneys and key industry executives that gathered just outside Washington, DC for the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association’s (NABCA) Annual Legal Symposium. The topic of my panel was one that we have put significant focus on here at ShipCompliant and […]

Out-of-State Shippers in Texas Get a Break on Excise Taxes – Until Now

Texas recently sent an updated Direct Shipper’s Report (form C-240) along with a letter to Out-of-State Winery Direct Shippers, alerting the licensees of a change in the tax rate to be paid on wine sent to Texas residents from out-of-state. Until now, Texas has only required out-of-state direct shippers to pay $0.204 per gallon on […]

New Jersey Poised to Open Up For Direct Shipping

Late Monday night, in the final action of a marathon legislative session that closed out the year, the New Jersey Assembly passed S3172, a bill that, among other things, opens up the state for direct-to-consumer shipments. If signed by Governor Chris Christie as expected, it will allow wineries producing up to 250,000 gallons of wine […]

Louisiana Increases Volume Limit for DTC Shipping

Louisiana recently made an adjustment to its direct-to-consumer wine shipping law that benefits the industry and consumers. The volume limit for direct-to-consumer shipping has increased from 4 cases per consumer each year to 12 cases (144 750ml bottles) per consumer each year. Wineries must have a direct shipping permit in order to ship to consumers […]

Tennessee Bill Opens Entire State to Direct Wine Shipments

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 1030 today, May 20, 2011, to open the entire state of Tennessee to direct wine shipments. Though officially Tennessee allowed wineries to apply for a license to ship wine into the state beginning July 1, 2009, licensed shippers have only been able to ship wine to some parts of […]

The Old ‘Wine’ State: Maryland to Open to Direct Wine Shipments

After years of repeated attempts to open the state to wine shipping, Maryland wine lovers will soon be able to have wine shipped directly to their doors. Signed by the Governor today, the new law makes Maryland the second state this year — after New Mexico — to pass new direct wine shipping permit legislation. […]

The CARE Act is a solution looking for a problem

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post, written by Tom Wark of SWRA, in our series on the CARE Act of 2011. So, what problem could possibly necessitate the radical solution of stripping every wine store in America of its Constitutional protection against discriminatory state-based laws? Make no doubt about it. H.R. 1161 does […]

H.R. 1161: Supported by the U.S. Constitution

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post, written by Paul Pisano of NBWA, in our series on the CARE Act of 2011. I would like to thank ShipCompliant for allowing me to offer a few thoughts about H.R. 1161. “Constitutional Head Fakes” or Fake Constitutional Objections? The debate over H.R. 1161, The Community Alcohol […]

What Scholars Have to Say About the CARE Bill

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post, written by Cary Greene of WineAmerica, in our series on the CARE Act of 2011. Yes, I’m another one of those pesky lawyers in this exciting edition of The CARE Act, the Sequel. Since you’ve already gotten much of the background, (if you haven’t read the outstanding […]

HR 1161: Factional FAQ

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post, written by R. Corbin Houchins, in our series on the CARE Act of 2011. Questions abound regarding what HR 1161 would do if it became law. Published answers conflict, ranging from “merely clarify existing law” to “instantly terminate direct shipment.” Here’s my take on some frequently encountered […]

HR 1161: The Great Constitutional Head Fake

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post, written by Wendell Lee of Wine Institute, in our series on the CARE Act of 2011. In anticipation of all that you’ll be reading and hearing about HR 1161, I wanted to take this opportunity to propose something not always done in Congress, but something that will […]

The End of Winery Reciprocity. New Mexico Passes Direct Shipping Legislation

New Mexico’s Governor signed SB 445, which creates a wine shipping permit for out-of-state wineries, an important move both symbolically and for wineries seeking to serve customers in that state. Now, wineries from all US states can apply for a permit to ship wine to consumers. New Mexico will be the last state to change […]

The Commerce Clause, the CARE Act, and Clarity

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post, written by Karin Moore of WSWA, in our series on the CARE Act of 2011. The intersection between the Commerce Clause and the 21st Amendment is about as clear as mud. The lack of clarity is a reason legal scholars and others find it fascinating–that and because […]

Introduction to CARE Act Series

HR 1161 (The Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act)—formerly known as HR 5034, is one of the most important pieces of alcohol-related legislation introduced into Congress in many years…as well as one of the most divisive. If passed, the bill would provide the states with greater authority, granted directly by Congress, to regulate the sale and […]

Direct Shipping Legislation Heats Up Across the Country

This time of year always brings a flurry of legislative activity, and 2011 is no exception. The Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court ruling from 2005 is still having its impact on many states. 27 states are currently considering some form of direct shipping legislation, and at least 44 more have considered some sort of tax […]

Son of 5034: C.A.R.E. Act Re-Introduced as HR 1161

If you have been following the debate over the CARE (Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness) Act for the last nine months, it should be no surprise that the bill was re-introduced in the US House of Representatives last week. Proponents of the bill, including the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers […]

The Meaning of Silence

Last Monday the U.S. Supreme Court declined review of the 2010 Court of Appeals decision in Wine Country Gift Baskets.com v. Steen, a Texas case refusing to apply Granholm’s antidiscrimination principle to wine sales by out-of-state non-producing retailers. (Previous blog posts have referred to the case as the Texas Siesta Village suit, using its original […]

Marylanders for Better Wine Shipping Laws

Following a very favorable report from Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot, and years of efforts by the constituent group Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws, bills to allow direct shipments from wineries inside and outside of Maryland were introduced in both chambers of the General Assembly on Friday. According to Free the Grapes!, 83 […]

All Eyes on Washington (State) as Voters Consider Privatization

On November 2, 2010 citizens of The Evergreen State will see two separate measures on the ballot concerning the distribution of liquor. Both initiatives represent a big change to the current liquor distribution system. The Washington State Liquor Control Board currently regulates the sale of all liquor (wine, beer and spirits) and maintains total control […]

H.R. 5034 Update: Revision Reignites Debate, Important Hearing Set for Wednesday

When H.R. 5034 (also known as the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness, or “CARE” Act) was introduced on April 15, 2010, the opposition responded quickly and forcefully. Supplier organizations were united in their opposition to the bill, referring to it as the “wholesalers monopoly protection bill”. Even the California State Legislature issued a resolution, SJR 34, […]

Kansas Issues Revenue Ruling and Amends License Term

Governor Parkinson of Kansas signed SB 452 into law, changing the license term for a Special Order Shipping License from one year to two years. The legislation became effective on July 1, 2010. The fee for a new Special Order Shipping License was adjusted to $150 to reflect the new two-year license term.  Current holders […]

Massachusetts Remains Elusive for Direct Shippers

On 1/14/10 the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled in favor the plaintiff in the Massachusetts FWC v. Jenkins litigation. The ruling affirmed the lower court’s order that struck down the capacity caps and wholesaler exclusions which are included in the Massachusetts direct-to-consumer shipping statute and prevented over half of the wineries in […]

Controlled Shipping: HB 1352 Will Make Some Changes to New Hampshire’s Direct Shipping Laws

HB 1352, a bill that includes changes to volume limits, permit fees, reporting requirements, and common carrier requirements, was signed by Governor John Lynch on July 15, 2010. Direct shipping is already available for wineries and retailers in New Hampshire, but the changes that will take effect on January 1, 2011 will have an impact […]

The Lone Reciprocal State

New Mexico Stands Alone In 2004, 13 states had wine shipping reciprocity provisions. Essentially, reciprocal states allowed any winery to ship into their state as long as that winery’s state allowed an equal reciprocal privilege. The Granholm decision of 2005 effectively declared reciprocity unconstitutional (pop quiz: would reciprocity provisions be beyond challenge if HR 5034 […]

Hawaii Amends Due Date for Gallonage Tax

Effective July 1, 2010, the filing and payment due date the Hawaii Gallonage Tax, will change from the last day of the month to the 20th day of the month. Wineries shipping to consumers in Hawaii are required to file a “Combined Monthly Return of Liquor Tax and Report of Wine Gallons and Dollar Volume […]

Direct Shipping Conference Focuses on Building Customer Loyalty, Understanding Marketing and Fulfillment Agents, the Impact of HR 5034 and More…

Hundreds of wineries will get an inside look at leading strategies for building customer loyalty, hear about the latest and upcoming changes in the direct shipping environment, learn best practices to get the most out of their direct shipping program, and be the first to see the unveiling of groundbreaking new features at ShipCompliant’s 5th […]

Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010 Introduced

As expected, the Congressional subcommittee hearing on Legal Issues Concerning State Alcohol Regulation has been followed by a House bill. H.R. 5034 was introduced yesterday by Representative Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) with support from the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). The bill is also called the "CARE" (Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness) Act of 2010, and Wine […]

Massachusetts will not appeal Family Winemakers decision

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will not appeal a January Federal Appeals Court decision upholding an earlier District Court decision which overturned the 2005 direct shipping law.  In January, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2008 district court ruling that found that the state law governing direct-to-consumer shipments by wineries was unconstitutional. […]

Possible Effects of Recent Congressional Hearing on Direct Shipping

You may have seen reports about a recent U.S. Congressional subcommittee hearing on “Legal Issues Concerning State Alcohol Regulation.” The hearing was important for anyone concerned about direct-to-consumer wine shipping since a primary question was whether federal courts should be stripped of their authority to strike down state alcohol laws that discriminate against out-of-state businesses—the […]

Virginia Passes Fix-It Bill for Third Party Shippers

Wine Institute Eastern Counsel Terri Beirne has been working since July 2009 with the Virginia ABC Board, and representatives of Wine America and the Virginia wineries to resolve problems created by Virginia ABC Circular Letter 09-05. That Circular prohibited Virginia direct wine shippers from using any third-party service providers, namely fulfillment or pick and pack […]

Iowa Governor Signs Direct Shipping Legislation

On March 10, 2010, Governor Culver signed Senate Bill 2088 which includes provisions to transition Iowa from a reciprocal shipping state to a permit state and allow unlimited direct-to-consumer shipments. The legislation will become effective on July 1, 2010, and brings Iowa into compliance with the Supreme Court’s 2005 Granholm v. Heald ruling by allowing […]

Direct Shipping Licensing Updates

Michigan Direct shipping permits for Michigan are renewable on May 1. The annual renewal cost for the Michigan Permit is $100; the same as the initial permit fee. For those wineries that do not have a direct shipping permit for MI now is good time to consider applying. Licenses are valid from May 1 – […]

Next Steps in Direct Shipping: Refining State Laws

As readers of this blog know, direct-to-consumer shipping has been a watchword among wineries for more than a decade. The result of all of this attention is a national shipping market that allows consumers in 37 states representing 82% of the U.S. population to receive wine purchased off-site legally. Persistent lobbying efforts and the collapse […]

Representing Change: One Piece of Washington's Overhaul

Last year, Washington State relaxed some of its restrictive alcoholic beverage laws as a result of a couple of comprehensive bills that passed the legislature (SB 5834 and HB 2040). The mandatory minimum markups between suppliers and wholesalers and between wholesalers and retailers are now history. Retailers can now pay suppliers using electronic funds transfers […]

Siesta's Over

On January 26th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ended the puzzling status of interstate retailing in Texas created by the lower court’s decision in Siesta Village Market. The district court had ruled that out-of-state retailers had a Commerce Clause right to sell wine to Texas consumers, but only wine that had been purchased from […]

High Fives in the First Circuit

Justified jubilation greeted the 14 January 2010 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which affirmed the federal district court decision of 19 November 2008 in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, invalidating the Massachusetts “volume cap.” (see previous post “Huge win for wineries, but can I ship to Massachusetts […]

Huge win for wineries, but can I ship to Massachusetts now?

First Circuit affirms District Court decision On Thursday, January 14th, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court in the case of Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins. The appellatte decision represents a major victory for wineries and may be the end of the case that […]

Wisconsin County and Stadium Local Taxes

All businesses registered with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue received a notice (see below) that county and stadium taxes must be remitted beginning October 1st, 2009. Wineries shipping into Wisconsin are subject to this change. For all orders that were taken after October 1st and shipped to Wisconsin residents, wine shippers must remit the appropriate […]

Up in the Air

On September 30, a federal district judge in a New Mexico suit brought by US Airways to free it from state regulation of beverage service ruled that the 21st Amendment prevents the federal government from preempting state regulation of alcoholic beverage service aboard federally regulated carriers. The decision leaves New Mexico regulators free to treat […]

Montana: No Federal Onsite Shipments, Please

The Montana Dept. of Revenue, Liquor Control Division recently confirmed that consumers in Montana are prohibited from receiving direct wine shipments under the Federal Onsite provision (sec. 11022 of Public Law 107-273). Montana law only allows consumers with a connoisseur’s license to receive direct wine shipments. However, the common carriers, FedEx and UPS, have NOT […]

Washington State Approval No Longer Required for Wine Labels

In an action supported by Washington Wine Institute, the Washington State Liquor Control Board adopted a new policy on wine label approval. Effective August 19, 2009, the WSLCB will accept the federal Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) as label approval for beer and wine to be sold in the state of Washington. Producers will no […]

Tennessee Direct Shipper Applications and Instructions Available

Wineries are now able to apply to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a Direct Shipper license. Direct Shipper licensees may ship no more than 1 case (9 liters) of wine to a Tennessee consumer during a calendar month and total shipments to each consumer may not exceed 3 cases (27 liters) of wine during […]

Texas to Roll Out New Volume Limits

New rules in Texas should benefit Lone Star consumers, and also make life a little easier for wineries. On June 19th, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law HB 1084, which will take effect on September 1st, 2009. Under the new rules, three different volume limits replace the existing set of two limits for licensed […]

Excise Taxes Rise in Two Direct Shipping States

On September 1, 2009, excise tax rates for wine will increase in Illinois and North Carolina. Governor Pat Quinn approved Illinois House Bill 255 on July 13, 2009. The bill increases Illinois’ excise tax on wines from $0.73 to $1.39 per gallon of wine under 20% ABV. An updated tax form for Direct Wine Shippers […]

Wine Institute Working To Clarify Impact Of VA ABC Circular 09-05

Wine Institute and other industry representatives met with the Virginia ABC this week concerning their July 22, 2009 circular No. 09-05 governing use of third party service providers in direct shipments.   The ABC staff was well aware of the concerns nationwide that their recent opinion has generated, but remained firm in their position that such […]

Annual Filing Option Now Available for Direct Shippers in New York

New York has recently amended its alcohol beverage tax regulations to allow certain wine distributors to file Form MT-40 (Wine Tax Return) on an annual basis rather than a monthly basis. Out-of-State wineries must be licensed by the New York State Liquor Authority as a direct shipper and submit the “Application for Annual Tax Return […]

Add Two to the List of Open States, and Many More Updates, Effective Today

Tennessee, Kansas Open For Direct Shipping Today, both Kansas and Tennessee open for direct shipping – the first two states to open in almost three years. These are the first states to change from Prohibited to Limited since Vermont in late 2006. As of today, Kansas residents have direct access to up to twelve cases […]

Reminder: Updated New York Excise Tax Forms for May Sales

The New York State Department of Tax and Finance recently sent a notice to direct shippers who filed and paid taxes on May shipments using form MT-40 to inform wine distributors and wineries that the paper form mailed by the state was an old version, reflecting old tax rates applicable only to orders placed before […]

Maine Event, At Last

After years of trying, wine commerce proponents succeeded in adding Maine to the list of license states for direct shipment. Governor Baldacci signed HP 696/LD 1008 on June 12th. After the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement adopts regulations and licensing procedures, the law will permit out-of-state and Maine farm wineries alike to ship wine (but not […]

CA: ABC Issues Industry Advisory on Outsourcing Marketing, Compliance and Logistics

On Friday, CA ABC issued an advisory to respond generally to the explosion of service providers that enable wineries to outsource one or more components of their D2C and D2T channels. Activities Requiring Licenses: The Department describes when third party providers require a license. In CA a license is required when a business sells (transfers […]

Tennessee keeps the ball rolling on direct shipping

Governor Phil Bredesen signed Senate Bill 166 into law today. With the passage of the bill, Tennessee will legally open its doors to winery direct shipping on July 1, 2009. Tennessee prohibited direct shipments from out-of-state wineries long before the landmark Granholm case. Even onsite shipments of wine were disallowed when the Attorney General issued […]

Labeling Sotomayor

Although I don’t believe anyone has found a beverage law opinion by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, there’s a good deal of blog traffic related to the fact she did not dissent from Circuit Judge Wesley’s opinion in Swedenburg v. Kelly, a Second Circuit decision famously reversed by the Supreme Court in Granholm v. Heald. As Justice […]

It's Alive! (and Waiting for the Governor's Signature) – Direct Shipping Bill in Maine

On May 29th, “An Act To Increase Consumer Choice for Wine” (H 696) won initial approval by the Maine House of Representatives. On June 1st, only one legislative day later, the proposed act was passed by the Senate. The bill is waiting for Governor Baldacci’s signature before becoming law. If passed, H 696 would provide […]

On-Site Requirements: Still Standing in the Heartland

Last August, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Baude v. Heath invalidated an Indiana statute that made most out-of-state wineries ineligible for the “direct wine seller’s permit,” which the law would have limited to in-state wineries and to wineries in the few states that do not grant them local wholesaling privileges. However, the opinion […]

Two Steps Forward, A Couple Back (or Maybe Sideways)

“Tied House” laws contain two categories of restrictions on licensed beverage businesses not found in other industries. One is general prohibition of beverage suppliers’ furnishing things of value to retailers, with certain exceptions (notably goods the retailer has paid for). The other is general prohibition of ownership or investment by a supplier company or its […]

Round Four of the Florida Direct Shipping Battle Comes to a Close

The streak continues. Once again Florida lawmakers were unable to pass any direct-to-consumer bills. Legislators presented two distinct direct-to-consumer bills for the 2009 legislative session but both have failed to advance beyond committee. Senate Bill 764 (House Bill 245 is its counterpart), the more restrictive of the two, would have required an annual $250 fee, […]

Wine Freedom in the South? Tennessee Direct Shipping Bill Passes the Senate

Tennessee, one of 13 states that still bans direct-to-consumer shipping, took steps towards ending that association on April 13, 2009 when the Senate-approved Senate Bill 166, which allows direct shipments of wine. Currently, anyone who transports wine into Tennessee by bypassing the three-tier system is committing a felony (see Section 57-3-401.b of the Tennessee Code) […]

Keeping up: Direct Shipping Legislation

With Kansas now due to open for direct shipping on July 1st, and legislation pending in Florida and Tennessee that may change direct shipping laws, the direct shipping environment is shifting faster than usual. You will not want to miss a state-by-state review of legislative updates from Steve Gross, the Wine Institute’s Director of State […]

Kansas to Open for Winery Direct Shipping July 1st

The Kansas Legislature approved Senate Bill 212 on April 10, 2009. Governor Kathleen Sebelius followed suit today by signing the bill into law, which will go into effect on July 1st, 2009. Although the road to approval contained a few bumps and detours, the original purpose of the bill remained unchanged: to give out-of-state and […]

California Sales Tax Hike Starts Tomorrow

A Special Notice was sent out by California’s Board of Equalization early this month, alerting taxpayers that the sales and use tax rate in the state of California will increase by 1% on April 1, 2009. The tax increase is part of voter-approved Proposition 1A, a budget package designed to increase state revenue by $16 […]

One Less Dry Town in Connecticut

Back in July of 2005, Connecticut passed legislation affecting direct shipments of wine the entire state. At that time, four towns in Connecticut were dry. As of February 9th, 2009, only three dry towns remain where wine cannot be shipped directly to consumers. The town of Wilton recently held a public hearing in which a […]

Tennessee’s AG Rules Consumers May Not Bring Wine into Tennessee, Federal On-Site Provision No Longer Applies

On February 24th, 2009, Tennessee’s Attorney General issued Opinion No. 09-15, which concluded that consumers may not legally carry any amount of wine on their person into Tennessee. This ruling, prohibiting consumers from carrying wine into Tennessee, means that the federal on-site provision does not apply to consumers in Tennessee. Wineries are therefore prohibited from […]

Massachusetts Still Question Mark for 30K-Gallon Wineries

On January 16, 2009, the state filed its notice of appeal in the 2006 Granholm-based federal suit, Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins. The District Court had entered judgment on December 18, 2008, enjoining enforcement of a statute that prevents direct shipment by 30,000-gallon-or-more wineries that sell through Massachusetts wholesalers (a category exclusively out-of-state), while […]

Michigan Levels Down on Wine Retailers

In just five legislative days, Michigan House Bill 6644 was introduced, edited, voted upon, and enrolled. In a disappointing turn of events, the Michigan Senate passed HB 6644, with substitutions, by a count of 36 Yeas and just 2 Nays on December 18, 2008. The bill then returned to the House for a final vote […]

Kentucky On-Site Requirement Invalidated, but Questions Remain

On December 24th, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed, in the Cherry Hill case, the judgment of the district court, invalidating the on-site purchase requirement. The district court ruled, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460 (2005), that the in-person purchase requirement in portions of […]

Up and Running (So Far)

Happily for the plaintiffs, Judge Zobel’s final judgment in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins took the path that seemed most likely from the tone and content of her memorandum and order of 19 November 2008 and leveled up. The judgment entered 18 December 2008 orders the state “to permit wineries of all sizes to […]

Utah Allows Shipment of Wine? Well, Not Exactly

In one of the most regulated and restricted states in the US, residents may now special-order alcohol online. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) announced that Utah residents may use an online Special Order Form to purchase alcohol that is otherwise unavailable in the State’s liquor stores. The alcohol would then be shipped […]

The Return of the Florida Wine Shipping Bill

Wineries and consumers have enjoyed relatively unrestricted wine shipping into Florida since 2006. This could change if direct shipping legislation is passed this year. Florida is gearing up for another legislative session and direct wine shipment legislation is on the docket, once again. The Florida Senate’s regular session will convene on March 3rd, but an […]

Hope Rests in Senate as Michigan House Passes Ban on Retail to Consumer Direct Shipments

Michigan House Bill 6644 passed with 97 Yeas and 9 Nays on December 4, 2008. If passed by the Senate, HB 6644 would ban all retailers, in-state and out-of-state, from direct shipping wine to Michigan residents. In the last days of Michigan’s current legislative session, expected to adjourn soon, the failure or passage of this […]

Face-to-Face Enforced in Indiana

The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission is now enforcing the statutory citation concerning the initial face-to-face transaction requirement in Section 7.1-3-26-6. The face-to-face requirement originally became effective on July 1, 2006, but was later stayed by the Court on August 24, 2007. However, the stay has expired and it is recommended that direct shippers comply […]

A Battle Well-Picked and Well-Fought

David does best when he can choose the right Goliath. The Massachusetts volume cap on direct shipment, invalidated last week in Family Winemakers of Calif. v. Jenkins, was a good choice to challenge for at least three reasons. First, there was gold in the legislative record: a sponsor described the bill as “giving an inherent […]

Family Winemakers Court Win is Big for the Industry

On November 19th, 2008, Judge Rya W. Zobel, in the case of Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, allowed the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that Massachusetts General Laws chapter 138, section 19F: … has a discriminatory effect on interstate commerce because as a practical matter it prevents the direct shipment of 98% of […]

Road-Trippin’: Self-Distribution in Oklahoma May Be Too Far Out of the Way for Some

On November 4, 2008, Oklahoma voters passed State Question 743 (SQ 743) by approximately a four to one margin. The referendum opened self-distribution for in-state and out-of-state wineries to distribute to retailers and restaurants in the state of Oklahoma, with some restrictions. Self-distribution in Oklahoma is now more accessible to wineries across the country. In-state […]

Appeals Court Calls for More Facts in Challenge to Tennessee On-site Law

The October 24th decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Jelovsek v. Bredesen has been widely reported as upholding face-to-face on-site purchase requirements for winery sales to consumers. There is, however, an interesting disconnect between what the district court said when it dismissed the complaint and what the appellate court said in partly […]

Hold the Toasts in Michigan

On October 6th, 2008, the judgment in Siesta Village Markets LLC v. Granholm was stayed by agreement of the parties, to give the state time to appeal and, if the appeal is taken, to leave the current law in force for the duration of the appellate process. It seems almost certain the defendants will appeal. […]

Granholm, the Sequel

On September 30, 2008, a federal district court ordered Michigan to give out-of-state retailers access to Michigan consumers to whom local retailers could sell wine. The reasoning in Siesta Village Market LLC v. Granholm closely parallels that of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Granholm v. Heald, in effect rendering Governor Jennifer Granholm a serial violator […]

District of Columbia Increases Volume Limits

Washington, D.C. recently made an adjustment to its direct-to-consumer wine shipping law that benefits the industry and consumers. The volume limit has increased from 1 quart to 1 case per person per winery per month. Washington, D.C. consumers are now allowed to order up to 1 case of wine per month from any number of […]

Indiana Still Standing on Their Face

On September 11th, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal said that they will not rehear an appeal concerning the original opinion of the Court in Indiana. The denial to rehear the case confirms that currently it is legally within the power of the State of Indiana to require wineries to ship wine to Indiana consumers […]

Louisiana Shipping Rules

In response to questions about shipping wine to Louisiana, I thought a short summary of direct-to-consumer wine shipping rules was in order. Louisiana regulations do not prohibit wineries with a relationship with a licensed wholesaler in Louisiana from making off-site direct-to-consumer shipments. The Alcohol and Tobacco Control Office allows a winery to direct ship any […]

New Requirements for S Permit Applications and Renewals in Ohio

For eligible wineries, SB 150 has created quite a bit of change to the existing direct shipping law. Since the dawn of Ohio’s direct shipping regulations, in order to be eligible for the “S Permit”, which allows wine manufacturers to ship wine directly to Ohio consumers, the wine manufacturer must produce less than a certain […]

Good News from Texas

On September 1, 2008 Texas will begin requiring direct shipping reports to be submitted on a quarterly basis. Reports will be due within 15 days of the completion of every 3 month quarter. Currently, direct shippers must file a report and pay taxes every month. The new report will no longer require direct shippers to […]

Attention 17/20s: 17 + 20 ≠ 02

That’s right – when California License Type 17 (Beer and Wine Wholesaler) and License Type 20 (Beer and Wine Off-Sale Retailer) are issued in conjunction, the privileges associated with the combination license are not equivalent to those of the 02 Winegrower’s License. A Type 17 License “permits incidental sales to other supplier-type licensees” and a […]

A Little Knowledge Is Not Enough: Evidentiary Burdens In On-Site Cases

The August 7th decision of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Baude v. Heath has been characterized as a loss in the fight against on-site purchase requirements. Indeed, the opinion leaves Indiana’s initial personal visit requirement in place. That is not, however, the whole story. It’s important to keep in mind in […]

7th Circuit Reverses Indiana Face to Face Ban

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals made an important decision yesterday regarding face-to-face transactions when shipping wine directly to Indiana consumers. After Indiana initially passed its direct shipping laws to comply with Granholm, the face-to-face requirement was successfully challenged in August of 2007. However, yesterday’s decision will eventually reverse the face-to-face clause. None of the […]

Half-Year Hullabaloo: New Laws Take Effect in Three States Today

Just a quick reminder of the legislative changes that take effect today, July 1st, 2008. Georgia’s new permit system takes effect. All wineries can now apply for a permit, regardless of distributor representation. Click here to see how to apply for a direct shipping permit. Ohio is increasing their capacity cap, making it possible for […]

Ohio Ups Gallonage Cap

On June 2nd, Governor Strickland signed an emergency measure that upped the capacity cap from 150,000 gallons to 250,000 gallons. The measure goes into effect on July 1, 2008 and amends Section 4301.10(A)(8)(c) of the Ohio Revised Code. The 100,000 gallon increase results in benefits for wineries and consumers alike. Now wineries producing between 150,000 […]

Georgia – Amended Wine Special Order Applications Available

The amended Georgia Special Order Shipping License application is now available on the Wine Institute and Georgia Department of Revenue websites. Wineries will be required to have an approved Wine Special Order Shipping License and comply with new direct-to-consumer shipping regulations beginning July 1, 2008. The new law increases the quantity limit to 12 cases […]

Family Winemakers of California Making Headway in Massachusetts

On May 29, 2008, Family Winemakers of California filed a motion for summary judgment in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, now before the federal district court for Massachusetts. The suit alleges that section 19F, the Massachusetts law that permits direct-to-consumer wine shipping, is unconstitutional because it “unequivocally discriminates against interstate commerce in both purpose […]

Georgia Direct Shipper Application Update

Georgia will require wineries to have an approved direct shipper’s permit, pay excise tax, state sales and local sales tax in order to ship direct to GA consumers beginning July 1, 2008. The Georgia Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Division is developing a New Direct Shipper Application which will include information about how to […]

Washington: Making Change, Streamlined Style

On July 1st, 2008, when Substitute Senate Bill 5089 takes effect, Washington will join twenty-one other states that have conformed to the “Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement”. The bill will change the way retail sales tax is collected for some Washington businesses. Beginning July 1st, 2008, any business with nexus in Washington must pay […]

Arizona Clarifies On-Site Shipping Law

Following our May 6th submission, Wine Institute received further clarification from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses & Control regarding their continuing interpretation of the on-site sales law. Wineries may ship up to 2 cases of wine per Arizona consumer per calendar year as long as the consumer purchases the wine while physically visiting the […]

City Tax in Arizona: Get with the Program… and the Non-Program

Just as a state can create their own alcoholic beverage regulations, so can they implement their own, distinct, taxing regulations. Arizona has recently clarified their sales tax requirements, applicable to wineries licensed to sell offsite sales of wine directly to Arizona consumers. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, sales tax (called, “transaction privilege or […]

Georgia is a "Go": Residents Can Now Join Wine Clubs and Buy Wine Online from All Wineries

Good news, wineries – shipping to Georgia just got a whole lot easier! As we mentioned in a previous post, House Bill 1061 had passed in the House and has since passed in the Senate. It made its way onto the Governor’s table on April 15th, and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law […]

Arizona Confirms a Minor Change to its Direct-To-Consumer Law

The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses & Control has confirmed a minor change to its direct-to-consumer wine shipping regulations, effective immediately. Under the original interpretation of the direct shipping law Arizona residents could not receive direct-to-consumer wine shipments unless they purchased the wine on-site, and shipments did not exceed 2 cases per consumer per year. […]

Florida escapes capacity cap at the wire

It came down to the wire, but the always heated battle in Florida ended with the legislative session closing on Friday with no bills making it out of the state congress. Multiple bills were considered for wine direct shipping, most of which included a “capacity cap” on annual production for wine shippers. The major winery […]

Caps Off to Dolan's Intentions

In October of last year, wineries began shipping directly to Ohio residents under a new direct shipping permit law. When the provisions of the law in Ohio were first announced, one of the major subjects of controversy was the capacity cap, which only allows wineries that produce less than 150,000 gallons annually to obtain a […]

Rhode Island and Alabama: Let My Pinot Go!

As legislative sessions continue to progress across the country, more and more legislative bills concerning direct shipments of wine are being considered. If the bills mentioned in this post pass, two states will change from being prohibited states to permit states. The last state to change from a prohibited state to a permit state was […]

An Accident On The Way To Court

The February 26, 2008 decision by an Arizona federal district court in Black Star Farms LLC v. Oliver supports an in-person purchase requirement, one of the principal legislative attacks on the level-field principle enunciated in Granholm. In-person purchase as a precondition to direct shipment solves a fundamental political problem for the middle tier. Although Granholm […]

Tennessee Wholesalers – Crossing the Line?

There are a couple of direct shipping bills in the Tennessee legislature that would allow Tennessee consumers to order wine from any winery or retailer in the country, with some of the regular restrictions. This would be a big deal, considering direct shipments into Tennessee have not been allowed from any state in recent history. […]

Kill the Bill: Maryland and Direct Wine Shipping

Maryland continues to be one of six states in which direct shipping is completely prohibited. In a previous post we reported that HB1260 and SB616 were favorable direct shipping bills in Maryland’s current legislative session. Both of these bills died in committee. If passed, they would have allowed permitted wineries and retailers to ship directly […]

Wisconsin Direct Shipping Bill Receives Governor's Signature

Senate Bill 485 was passed into law yesterday, making Wisconsin the newest addition to the list of permit states. Wisconsin was one of the three remaining states that had yet to change their direct shipping laws since the Granholm ruling. Direct shipping law did not authorize intra-state shipments of wine to consumers, and the reciprocity […]

Just Peachy: More Wineries Could Be Eligible for Direct Shipping

A bill is being considered in Georgia that could potentially open up the state to all wineries for direct shipping. The permit system that is in place right now works pretty well for eligible wineries, but the major issue is that some funky language makes it so that wineries cannot ship offsite orders to Georgia […]

Another Rowe to Hoe

There’s been a lot of silliness lately about the Maine cigarette case, with some observers declaring that the recent Supreme Court opinion in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Ass’n prevents states from regulating carrier deliveries of interstate wine shipments. Whether honest mistake or disinformation, that assertion might seem plausible from a superficial reading of […]

Three New Florida Bills: Not the Ducks or the Bucks, but the Winery Shipper Ones

The Regular session of the Florida Legislature will convene on March 4, 2008. During the 60 days following, legislators should decide on one of three winery shipping bills that could be introduced into Florida law. I say should, hoping that last year’s unsuccessful passage will not be repeated. Since 2006, wineries have been able to […]

Costco Asks Court of Appeals to Think Again

On February 19, 2008, Costco Wholesale filed a petition for rehearing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the original panel to reconsider a three-judge panel’s decision of January 29th, which upheld the ruling of a federal district court in Seattle that Washington’s price posting requirement is invalid under federal antitrust law, but reinstated […]

Reciprocity Lives (well, at least in New Mexico)

With all the support SB59 received, it seemed hopeful that another reciprocal state would move from yellow to blue. The new bill would have replaced the existing reciprocal wine shipping law with a permit system for both wineries and retailers. Regrettably, it did not reach the New Mexico House floor before the session ended last […]

A call to action in Maryland

Maryland is currently one of six states, including Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Pennsylvania, where all direct shipping is prohibited for both offsite and onsite sales. In fact, shipping wine into Maryland today can result in a felony. But, that could all change soon. House Bill 1260 and its companion, Senate Bill 616, would establish […]

Six Veils Out of Seven: Retailer Shipments Under Granholm

On January 14, 2008, a district court in Texas rendered a mostly pro-trade decision in Siesta Village Market, LLC v. Perry that clarified much, but danced around the hottest issue, leaving the final veil in place. The case upholds the basic Specialty Wine Retailers contention that a state that allows its retailers to deliver to […]

Dulling the Cutting Edge

Yesterday’s decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected almost everything about the trial court’s decision in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Hoen that was innovative under federal antitrust law, turning the case into an expression of conservative deference to state law. Appellate judges did not even throw Costco the scrap of a favorable word […]

A setback for Costco

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday in the case of Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Hoen. The panel largely reversed the April, 2006 decision that declared much of Washington’s three-tier system to be unconstitutional. Although the court did agree with Costco that the “post and hold” […]

Retailers win one, lose one in Texas court

Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas handed down a very important decision on Monday. In the Siesta Village Market Opinion, Judge Fitzwater said the following The court concludes that Texas’ ban on the sale and shipment of wine by out-of-state retailers to Texas residents is unconstitutional, but […]

Oregon – The Next Round is Just Starting

With a new law allowing out-of-state wineries to sell directly to Oregon retailers, effective January 1, Oregon looked like a bright star in the winery self-distribution field. Oregon had chosen to level up, allowing both domestic and out-of-state wineries to sell direct to retailers. It seemed as if free trade in wine had arrived. But, […]

New Oregon rules are live – reminder to get the new permit

Just a quick reminder that the new permit system took effect in Oregon on January 1st. Even if you previously had a reciprocal shipping permit to ship into Oregon, you now need their new permit to continue direct shipping. For wineries in states that were not considered to be “reciprocal” with Oregon, you can now […]

Guidelines for Submitting New Hampshire’s Monthly Report via Email

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission has created a new e-mail account specifically for direct wine shippers. Wineries can send questions to directshippers@liquor.state.nh.us. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission also allows direct shippers, who have no shipments to report, to submit their monthly report via e-mail. Direct Shippers who choose to submit the report via email must […]

Doyle uses veto on Wisconsin budget bill

There was a flurry of activity this week in Wisconsin related to DTC shipping and self-distribution. You will recall that last month a host of onerous shipping provisions were included in the House version of the budget. These proposals would have repealed the existing reciprocal shipping statutes, replacing them with an entirely unworkable and exorbitantly […]

Wine Shipping Permit System Passes via Badger Budget Bill

Governor Jim Doyle is expected to sign into law Senate Bill 40, the Wisconsin Budget Bill that passed both chambers of the state congress on Tuesday. Within an amendment to the budget bill are provisions that would strike the existing reciprocal statutes for direct shipping and insert language that creates a permit system for wineries […]

Is the retail to consumer shipping battle headed to the Supreme Court?

The issue of direct shipments by retailers to consumers has become a very hot topic of late. As of today, retailers can ship to less than half of the number of states to which producing wineries can ship. The Specialty Wine Retailers Association is fighting hard with both legislative efforts and litigation to open more […]

Wrong, but Not Surprising: A Loss in Extending Granholm to Shipments by Retailers

The recent decision in Arnold’s Wines, Inc. v. Boyle, Docket No. 06 Civ. 3357 (Southern District of NY, Sept. 9, 2007), which upholds New York’s requirement that retailers be located within the state to sell and ship to New York residents, illustrates the difficulty of separating dictum from holding in the Granholm case. (See the […]

Free the Grapes!: New Illinois Law to Expand Consumer Choice for Winery-to-Consumer Shipments from 5 to 50 States, But Corks Out-of-State Retailers

From Free the Grapes!: Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich yesterday signed House Bill 429 which goes into effect June 1, 2008. The new law dramatically expands consumer choice for winery-to-consumer purchases made by Illinois wine consumers. Under the new law, wineries in all 50 states may purchase a permit to ship. Under the old law, wineries […]

Illinois wine shipping bill signed by governor

Governor Blagojevich signed HB 429 yesterday, temporarily ending an extremely tough battle to pass wine shipping legislation in Illinois. The new laws will not take effect until June 1st, 2008. Illinois will move from a reciprocal state to a permit state for winery direct shipping and will also enable limited self distribution for wineries that […]

Free the Grapes!: Ohio Wine Lovers to be Cut-off October 1

Free the Grapes! just pushed a press release about Ohio that condemns the new laws and calls for consumer action. Below are a few excerpts. A new law effective Monday, October 1 will prevent Ohio wine lovers from continuing to purchase wines directly from many popular mid-sized wineries, according to Free the Grapes! During the […]

Ohio to initiate permit system on Monday

Since July 19, 2005, wineries have enjoyed basically unrestricted access to Ohio consumers as the result of a judge declaring Ohio’s prohibition on direct shipping to be unconstitutional. That access will change significantly on Monday, when the Ohio Department of Commerce – Division of Liquor Control initiates the new permit system that was inserted into […]

Discrimination Against Out-Of-State Retailers After Granholm

Imminent revision of Illinois direct shipment law is producing much heated comment about retailer shipping rights, some trenchant and some off the mark, but all of significance beyond one state. Illinois House Bill 429, sent to the governor for signature on August 8th, conforms to the all but universally held belief that Granholm condemns treating […]

Connecticut Revises Consumer Aggregate Volume Limit Rule

The Connecticut Direct Shipping Law has been slightly altered. Wineries with an approved Out-Of-State Wine Shipper’s Permit will be able to ship up to 5 gallons (twenty-five 750 ml bottles) to a consumer every 2 months instead of every 60 days. The change becomes effective October 1, 2007 and should make it easier for wineries […]

Indiana and Oregon – starkly different paths to wine shipping laws

Wine Spectator Online has a good article that compares the different paths that Indiana and Oregon took in arriving at their new rules. It’s definitely worth a read. Here are some excerpts: Advocates of direct-to-consumer wine shipments recently scored two points in the win column: Oregon and Indiana. Both states now have more open direct-shipping […]

Parts of Indiana law declared unconstitutional. Can I ship there now?

Earlier this year, we discussed the “new vintage” of wine litigation that was taking place across the country. As background, since the 2005 Granholm decision, the wine wholesale lobby has recognized that they must pick their battles, and therefore concede the ability for wineries to ship directly to consumers in most states. Recognizing they would […]

New Missouri Law Takes Effect Today

Just a reminder… Effective today, August 28, 2007, Missouri is requiring all wineries to have an approved direct shipping permit. There is no fee and the application is only 1 page! Wineries must have the application notarized and provide copies of its current state alcoholic beverage license and a copy of its winery license from […]

Oregon to end reciprocity – permitted retailers and wineries can ship on January 1st

After January 1st, there may be only two reciprocal states left. Oregon HB 2171 was signed by the governor on July 31st and is now enrolled. As mentioned in a previous post, Oregon is all set up to become a limited/direct permit state for direct to consumer shipping. Previously a reciprocal state, only wineries from […]

Free the Grapes! Legislation and Litigation Update

From Jeremy Benson at Free the Grapes! : Free the Grapes! Media Update August 2007 Now that we’re at the end of most state legislative sessions, we thought it timely to provide an update on direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine direct shipping as of month-end July 2007. Here are some highlights, followed by a more detailed description. […]

Wine shipping bill in Illinois moves to Governor's desk

The long battle in Illinois is coming to an end (well, at least for now). The Illinois Senate passed HB 429 today by a vote of 49-5. Governor Blagojevich is expected to sign the bill. More details of the legislation can be found in a previous post. If signed, Illinois would move from a reciprocal […]

Ohio adopts restrictive permit system

On June 30th, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed the fiscal year 2008-09 budget bill. Similar to the current legislative maneuvering in Wisconsin, this was an unusual development to see wine shipping provisions inserted into a state budget bill. As we reported earlier, the law changes Ohio’s court ordered open status for shipping wines to a […]

Free the Grapes! Fate of Wine Direct Shipping in Wisconsin Rests with Conference Committee, Governor

From the Free the Grapes! press release: For 20 years, Wisconsin’s wine lovers have been able to purchase wine directly from wineries licensed to do so, as well as from in-state wine retailers. But consumers will lose these privileges if the Budget Bill passes as it is currently written, according to Free the Grapes!, the […]

Missouri ATC Updates Direct Shipper Information

The Missouri ATC updated its website yesterday with its interpretation of SB 299. As noted in our previous post, SB 299 changes Missouri’s shipping status from a reciprocal shipping state to a limited/direct shipping state for wineries. After August 28th, there will remain only five winery reciprocal states (OR, NM, IA, IL, and WI). Oregon […]

Missouri to end reciprocity on August 28th

On July 13th, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed into law SB 299. SB 299 changes Missouri’s current status as a reciprocal shipping state to a limited/direct shipping state. Beginning August 28th, 2007, in-state and out-of-state wineries may obtain a Direct Shipper’s permit and ship up to 2 cases per month, up from the previous 2 […]

Proposed Wisconsin Budget Could Affect Direct Shipping and Self Distribution

The Wisconsin Senate amended and passed the proposed 2007-09 biennial budget bill to include a Direct Shipper’s Permit for wineries. As is, the amendment removes Wisconsin’s reciprocal language and allows permitted wineries to ship up to 27 liters per year directly to individual consumers. However, the bill would also restrict the amount of wine consumers […]

Oregon Legislation Ends Reciprocity

HB 2171 passed the Oregon Legislature just days prior to the end of the regular session. The new legislation removes reciprocal language from Oregon’s current wine shipping laws. In its place, HB 2171 creates a direct shipping permit system. In essence, the direct shipping permit will be available to all wineries and retailers who wish […]

Buckeye Budget Bill Could Affect Direct Shipping

The Ohio Senate unanimously passed HB 119, which would move Ohio towards becoming compliant with Granholm. HB 119 creates a permit system for wineries seeking to ship directly to consumers in Ohio. As reported by the Dayton Daily News, the direct shipping provision was inserted by the Senate as an amendment to the proposed 2008-09 […]

Illinois Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Bill One Step Closer

The Illinois House of Representatives passed Illinois HB 429, which allows direct to consumer shipping by out-of-state wineries, by a vote of 92-6 yesterday. If passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Rod Blagojevich, the bill will afford individual Illinois residents the opportunity to receive up to 12 cases of wine per year from […]

Why Can't I Have a Boston Wine Party?

The current lawsuit Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins challenges an important aspect of the Massachusetts law regarding direct to consumer shipment of wine by out of state wineries. Recent articles have mentioned that the production limits adopted by Massachusetts act as a method of protecting in state wineries from interstate commerce and restrict the […]

Direct-to-Consumer Shipping — Not Quite the Green Light for Every State

Appellation America released a great article about direct shipping as we celebrate the second anniversary of the Granholm v. Heald ruling. The article was actually written by Eleanor and Ray Heald, the couple that originally sued the state of Michigan to overturn their discriminatory direct shipping laws. The appeal made it all the way to […]

Deadline extended for Illinois House bill

Illinois House Bill 429, which would move Illinois from a reciprocal state to a limited direct state for winery direct shipping, did not see a vote by the May 10th deadline, but the deadline for third reading and final action was extended until May 18th. The bill would create a permit system, establish a 12 […]

Florida update: No legislation will pass by the deadline, no word from DBPR

As an update to our previous post about Florida, no legislation will pass in the current session, which ends today. At this time, there has been no word from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation about whether they will continue to allow shipping under the current rules. It seems that nobody knows exactly what […]

North Dakota passes updated limited direct bill

Governor John Hoeven signed Senate Bill 2135 (mentioned previously here) this month and the new rules will go into effect on August 1st, 2007. SB 2135 updates the previous direct shipping rules to increase the monthly quantity limits for wineries and retailers to 7.13 gallons (27 liters or 3 standard 9 liter cases) per month […]

Florida may revoke wine shipping access on May 5th

At least three bills that address wine direct shipping are pending in the Florida legislature in the current session. Senate Bill 126 (Saunders) and Senate Bill 2282 (Geller) both include restrictive “capacity caps” that would prohibit any winery that produces more than 250,000 gallons per year from shipping directly to Florida residents. House Bill 1217 […]

Free The Grapes! legislative update

Free the Grapes! recently provided an update on direct to consumer shipping legislation and litigation for 2007. As you can see below, many changes are likely to come this year. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE Wine Institute provided the following summary of direct shipping legislation around the country. Alaska –House Bill 34 (Ledoux) would specifically allow in-state wineries […]

Direct shipping bill passes West Virginia Congress

In May of 2005, in the case of Granholm v. Heald, the United States Supreme Court effectively invalidated the practice of reciprocity because it discriminates against wineries in non-reciprocal states. At that time, there were 13 reciprocity states. Today, there are only seven reciprocity states left (Oregon, New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, and West […]

Free the Grapes! Updates Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping Practices

Free the Grapes! recently updated its Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping. The Code is a voluntary set of guidelines for direct to consumer wine shipments. The new Code, listed below, is fully endorsed by Wine Institute, Family Winemakers of California, and WineAmerica. Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping Out-of-state licensees may direct ship wine […]

"New Vintage" of Wine Litigation

There’s an excellent article on law.com titled “New Vintage of Wine Litigation is Fermenting”. The article summarizes the “next wave” of wine lawsuits that will continue to shake up the landscape of direct shipping. New suits and amended complaints filed in the past year are attacking requirements that consumers must purchase wine in person, with […]

Results from Federal District Court in Kentucky

It was pretty good, though it could have been better. Yesterday, Judge Charles R. Simpson III reaffirmed his analysis of last August in the Cherry Hill case, finding that on-site only requirements in the direct shipment law effective on January 1 are unenforceable because they unduly burden interstate commerce relative to in-state direct shipments. The […]

Kentucky Court Opinion and Judgment Posted

The US District Court in Kentucky ruled yesterday on the lawsuit filed by Cherry Hill Vineyards, challenging provisions in Kentucky’s recent direct shipping legislation. Here are links to the court’s opinion [Huber Memorandum Opinion.pdf (324 KB)] and judgment [Huber Order and Judgment.pdf (239 KB)]. An excerpt from the opinion: The court has evaluated the new […]

Terroir II: Another Word Soon from the Court that Decided All Wines Aren’t Alike

A new ruling is expected before the end of the year in the Granholm-based lawsuit that challenges the states’ and wholesalers’ “on-site only” strategy for resisting direct shipment. That line of defense argues it’s equal treatment to restrict all wineries, near and far, to the same limitation of in-person orders (which seems true in the […]

Important ruling in Kentucky expected by year-end

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III is expected to give a very important important ruling in Kentucky by the end of the year, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The ruling will help decide the fate of the Kentucky law that was set to take effect on January 1st. The new law would allow for […]

Costco appeal on fast track

The case is moving along very rapidly, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals having taken the initiative in a November 30, 2006 order by designating the appeal as expedited and setting a very prompt date for argument (March 2007). The defendants’ motion before the Court of Appeals for an indefinite stay was denied, but can […]

The second wave of the Granholm tsunami

Two states now have court cases that illustrate the second wave of the Granholm tsunami. Explicit discrimination in favor of local wineries relative to out-of-state wineries is, in theory at least, already washed away. We now see another crest on the horizon, aspiring to wipe out de facto discrimination –where the formal text of the […]

Lawsuit filed in Tennessee

Add Tennessee to the list of at least nine states that have ongoing direct to consumer litigation. A “wine enthusiast” recently filed a lawsuit in Tennessee to challenge the laws prohibiting the direct shipment of wine to consumers. Tennessee currently is a felony state that allows for a one gallon federal onsite provision, but otherwise […]

Clarifications on Direct Shipping Laws

The enforcement and interpretation of various state laws for Direct-to-Consumer wine shipments continue to evolve. Following are three recent updates that wineries should be aware of. Connecticut: Wineries of any size are eligible to apply for an Out-of- State Shippers Permit in CT. The cost of the permit is $250 and there is a $100 […]

Virtual wineries taken to court

Last week the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control took three “virtual” wineries to court stating that they violated the provisions of their licenses by pouring wine for consumers at a wine festival. So called virtual wineries typically hold two licenses in combination, a type 17 which is a wholesale license and a type 20, […]

More on the Family Winemakers lawsuit

Tom Wark from Fermentation posted a lengthy comment in response to Doug Caskey’s thoughts on the Family Winemakers lawsuit. This was another great response, so I wanted to post it to make sure everyone reads it. Doug: First, anyone accusing you of being a traitor to the wine industry simply doesn’t know you or doesn’t […]

Terroir in Court

For the first time in post-Granholm legal maneuvering, a court has recognized the geographic distinctiveness of wine as a factor in applying the “level playing field” requirement. Kentucky is one of about eight states that responded to Granholm by authorizing only on-site sales. The argument by the wholesalers and their allies in favor of that […]

TSA eases liquids ban, but wine bottles are still prohibited

TSA announced today an ease on their ban on liquids, but don’t expect to carry on a couple bottles of your favorite Cabernet any time soon. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today it is adjusting its total ban on liquids, gels and aerosols effective Tuesday, September 26. There are two significant changes: Travelers will […]

A response to the Family Winemakers lawsuit

Doug Caskey, from the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, responded to our post about the lawsuit in Massachusetts with a lengthy comment. I wanted to republish it in a new post because it is well worth reading. At the risk of sounding like a traitor to the cause of wine, free trade and the American […]

Kentucky appeals court ruling

The State of Kentucky yesterday appealed the court ruling in August that struck down the interstate shipping ban in Kentucky. The State disagreed with the court’s finding that the in-person requirement for purchasing wine is unconstitutional. Thanks to the folks at Stoll Keenon Ogden for the tip and the insight. Their article was used a […]

TSA Prohibits Carry-On Liquids (including wine)

In light of recent disrupted terrorist plots to detonate liquid explosives in commercial airlines, the Transportation Security Administration is implementing the following security procedures effective immediately: NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, […]

Kansas’ Limited Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Law

Governor Kathleen Sebelius on May 23, 2006 signed a direct to consumer (DTC) shipping bill in Kansas that gives us only half of what we were seeking. This was an extremely hard-fought battle in a state that had previously banned all DTC shipments. Unfortunately, the success Chuck McGrigg and our local lobbyists had in passing […]

Costco-Granholm battle lines forming in Ohio

Ohio wineries selling to state residents operate under a mandatory 33.3% markup system, whether distributing directly or through a wholesaler. Under past law, wineries outside the state could not sell to Ohio consumers at all. To comply with Granholm, the state accepted a consent decree permitting consumers to purchase directly from out-of-state wineries, beginning in […]

New laws take effect in four states on July 1st

Hello again, back in the swing of things after a nice two week break. We’ve seen some big developments in the world of wine direct shipping over the last two weeks that we’ll look at in more detail over the next few weeks. July 1st is a huge day for direct shippers as new laws […]

Dropping the Second Shoe

Recent lawsuits in California, following the preliminary consent decree in Texas, bring home the second major implication of Granholm. The Supreme Court opinion of May 2005 told us that a state may not allow its own wineries to sell directly to consumers if it excludes out-of-state wineries. Its first implication �that states allowing their own […]

Napolitano signs Arizona wine shipping bill

On Thursday, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed into law SB 1276, opening Arizona for limited direct shipping and self distribution. As we mentioned below, this will establish a capacity cap for offsite sales of 20,000 gallons (roughly 8,400 cases). Onsite sales will continue to be allowed with a per customer volume limit of 2 cases […]

"Domestic farm winery" bill passes Arizona legislature

Senate Bill 1276 passed the Arizona state House last week and now awaits Governor Janet Napolitano’s signature. SB 1276 would continue to allow for the direct shipment of orders where “the wine was purchased while the purchaser was physically present at the winery”. The bill would also allow for off-site orders, but with serious restrictions. […]

Preliminary injunction in Texas is a temporary truce

The recent preliminary injunction entered by agreement in Wine Country Gift Baskets.com v. Steen is only a temporary truce. Both sides are reportedly preparing for a contest over the final judgment, while the delivery companies and potential retailer-shippers attempt to figure out what the requirement that shipments be by �a carrier permitted by Texas Alc. […]

Kansas to allow direct shipment of on-site orders

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed Senate Bill No. 297 last week, making it legal for in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship wine directly to Kansas consumers provided that “the consumer must purchase the wine while physically present on the premises of the wine manufacturer”. The new laws go into effect on July 1st. The legislation […]

Washington Liquor Control Board to appeal Costco ruling

The Washington State Liquor Control Board announced yesterday it will appeal the ruling issued by Judge Marsha Pechman. The state will likely file its appeal in the next few weeks and will claim that the 21st Amendment should trump the Sherman Antitrust Act. In other words, the state should have the right to create monopolies, […]

The broader effects of Costco

I. Discrimination against Direct Distribution from Outside the State There seems little doubt that Costco�s reading of Granholm will survive appeal. Nothing appeared in the Costco record to distinguish direct shipment of beer and wine to retailers from direct shipment of wine to consumers. Most states with wine industries allow local wineries some form of […]

HB 247 passes Florida House

As you recall, Florida is currently open for wine direct shipping under the honor system. In the meantime, the Florida House and Senate are busy hashing out the details of what will become the permanent legislation in the Sunshine State. HB 247 passed the Florida House Wednesday and now awaits the Senate. This bill would […]

Costco ruling – Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

We added the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law from the Costco v. Hoen case to our Document Library. Here are a few key passages from the document (emphasis added) The Sherman Act reflects a strong federal policy in favor of competition. At the same time, the Twenty-first Amendment provides each state with broad […]

Landmark ruling in Costco vs. Hoen

On Friday, Judge Marsha Pechman released Findings of Fact and Conclusion in the case of Costco v. Hoen. In a landmark ruling for the future of the three tier system, the Court found that the Washington state-mandated wholesaler monopoly was not shielded by the 21st Amendment and was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. […]

Summary of changing states

Wow, there have been a lot of changes to direct shipping laws this year and we are not even at the six month mark! Many reciprocal and prohibited states are becoming permit states. This is good news for wineries and consumers, but it is hard to keep track of all the changes. There are several […]

Colorado bill signed by Governor Owens

Effective on July 1st, 2006, Colorado will officially move from a reciprocal state to a limited-direct state. See the file in the ShipCompliant Document Library for the full details of House Bill 1120, which will establish a permit system for in-state and out-of-state wineries. Governor Bill Owens signed the bill on Thursday. Colorado was previously […]

Legislation update

There has been a flurry of wine legislation activity around the country recently… Indiana: House Bill 1016 was approved by the Indiana House and Senate and awaits signature from the governor. This is one of the stranger bills out there to say the least. It allows for limited direct shipments from both in-state and out-of-state […]

Colorado bill sent to Governor

Colorado House Bill 1120 passed the House and is now in the hands of Governor Owens. The bill would remove reciprocity language and create a limited direct model with equal access from all states. Colorado consumers will no longer be required to make an initial onsite visit to a licensed winery before making offsite purchases. […]

Court cases left and right

We’ve seen a lot of activity over the past two weeks in the court room that will have some big impacts on the direct shipping landscape. We’re going to take a look at recent activity in Washington, Texas, Minnesota, and Maryland in the next few days.

Washington opens for non-reciprocal states

Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law a bill that will allow all out of state wineries to ship to directly to Washington consumers. Previously, Washington had reciprocity arrangements with 13 states. The new regulations will make it more difficult for those 13 states because they will be required to obtain a direct shipping permit and […]

Idaho removes reciprocity

Idaho officially removed its reciprocity language in House Bill No. 454, establishing itself as a limited direct state. Idaho joins California and Washington as reciprocal states that moved to a limited direct model to comply with Granholm. Other reciprocal states are likely soon to follow, including Colorado and Hawaii. With the new legislation, which goes […]

Indiana bill passes House and Senate, awaits Governor's signature

A legislative compromise in Indiana passed the House on Monday and the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the Governor for final approval and signature. The Senate approved the legislation only after the group of 9 wineries that sued the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission agreed to drop their lawsuit. Although it is fantastic […]

Setback in Maine

The Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee of Maine voted 8-2 against a proposal to allow direct shipments via a permit system. A fight is expected on the House floor. Read more here, especially the Reader Comments section at the bottom of the article. Here are a few choice quotes: As a Mainer who loves wine, […]

Kentucky bill passes Senate, would prohibit direct shipments

Senate Bill 82, which prohibits direct shipments in Kentucky, passed the state Senate and now moves to the House. Winery owners claim that this bill would kill the Kentucky wine industry. A second bill in Kentucy that would allow small wineries to ship directly to retailers remains in House committee. This article has some very […]

Compromise in Illinois passes Senate vote, moves to House

Winery and beer distributor groups reached a compromise in the drawn out battle in Illinois. Senate Bill 2180 passed the Senate vote unanimously,and now moves to a House vote. The compromise would allow the nearly 200 Illinois wineries to sell wine at the winery as well as at two additional retail locations in the state. […]

Costco case will challenge the three-tier system

From the Washington Times: The potentially most important challenge to the three-tier system comes from neither consumers nor wineries. It instead is being issued by a corporate entity with the political muscle to match the wholesale lobby — the biggest wine retailer of all, Costco Wholesale Corp. This article is worth reading.

Colorado bill moves forward

Colorado House Bill 1120 passed the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Livestock Committee unanimously. Based on the Wine Institute model legislation, the proposed bill would create a limited direct permit system that would allow interstate shipments into and out of Colorado. Colorado currently is considered a reciprocal state and must change its laws to comply […]

Indiana wineries reach compromise… but Senator kills wine bill

Shortly after a compromise was reached in Indiana that would allow direct shipments with a 24 case per year limit per individual and a 1,000 case limit per winery, Senate President Pro Tempore Robert D. Garton sent the bill to the Senate Rules Committee, which is considered a “graveyard for legislation”. Instead of helping to […]

Flip-flop by Rendell gives hope to wineries

Earlier we noted that Pennsylvania Governor Rendell opposed direct wine shipments because they would increase the chance that minors receive alcohol. After taking a lot of heat for that “colossal lie”, Rendell changed his tune and is now saying that it’s all about state revenue. “The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which manages the state’s 640 […]

MA Congress overrides Romney veto, court challenge likely

The Massachusetts House and Senate overrode a veto by Governor Milt Romney , writing into law a bill that will allow small farm wineries that produce less than 30,00 gallons per year to ship directly to consumers. It also allows residents to take home bottles of wine purchased at restaurants if the restaurant re-corks the […]

Competing bills in Kentucky

Two competing bills are alive in Kentucky, but neither are very favorable for wineries. One that made it out of state House committee would only allow onsite sales for small farm wineries. The second made it through the state Senate and would force all wineries to use wholesalers. Read more here.

Florida officially opens

In a letter to the Wine Institute yesterday, Simone Marstiller, Secretary of Florida�s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, announced that out-of-state wineries can officially make wine shipments into the state of Florida. In August, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in the case of Bainbridge, et al. v. Turner that Florida’s wine shipping laws […]

Small farm winery bill passes Arizona Senate committee

Three wine shipping bills were proposed in Arizona, and one made it out of the Senate committee. This bill would allow small farm wineries that produce less then 50,000 gallons each year to make offsite shipments of wine to Arizona consumers. The Arizona distributors, of course, are pulling out all the stops to prohibit direct […]

Maine in play

A new bill would open up shipments to Maine, which is currently a Prohibited state. See the story here.

South Dakota bill killed in committee

House Bill 1187 would have allowed for limited direct shipments to consumers in South Dakota, but was shot down by the House Commerce Committee, with heavy oposition from the three-tier lobby.

Idaho to uncork wine shipping legislation

Add Idaho to the long list of states that are currently revisiting their wine direct shipping legislation. The proposed legislation is being pushed by the Wine Institute and would create a limited direct model with a $50 permit and a customer aggregate volume limit of 24 cases per year.

Colorado bill passes House Finance Committee

In their effort to become compliant with the Granholm decision, Colorado introduced a limited direct bill that would ease restrictions on shipping wine. Currently, consumers in Colorado can not make offsite purchases from wineries unless they have visited that winery in the past. The new legislation would remove this previous visit requirement.

Kansas revisits wine shipping laws

A pending bill in the Kansas Legislature would prohibit the direct shipment of wine to consumers altogether. Currently, Kansas in-state wineries can sell directly to consumers, but out-of-state wineries are required to use the three-tier system. This uneven treatment was deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in May 2005. As a result of the […]

Romney introduces new bill

After vetoing a bill passed by the Massachusetts House and Senate in January, Governer Milt Romney introduced his own bill that would allow for “unrestricted wine sales” while providing mechansims for preventing the sale of wine to minors.

Proposed legislation in Illinois would limit off-site sales

Following up on our previous post, small wineries are once again crying foul in Illinois over legislation introduced by the Illinois distributor lobby. The bill would require an initial on-site purchase before off-site sales can be made and would establish a customer aggregate volume limit of two cases per year. Illinois wineries are taking issue […]

Wine shipping fight begins in Illinois

Sound familiar? The Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois are pushing for a bill in Illinois that would prohibit direct shipments. Illinois wineries are crying foul and pushing their own counter-legislation. This will be interesting to watch as Chicago is a large wine market.

Proposal from Virginia wineries might not make it out of committee

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: The House ABC and Gaming subcommittee voted 4-1 to recommend that the General Laws Committee kill a bill that would preserve the right of small Virginia wineries to distribute their products to restaurants and stores.

Costco case could set precedent for Arizona

Interesting editorial explaining why Arizona is watching the Costco case in Washington closely.

New California laws take effect today

California officially moves to a limited direct model for interstate wine shipping today. Out-of-state wineries will be required to obtain a Type 82 permit from the California ABC for $10 annually and a Certificate of Use Tax from the California Board of Equalization.

Costco wins key ruling in Washington

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “A federal judge said in two separate rulings Wednesday that Washington’s system for distributing beer and wine violates the Constitution and the Sherman Act.” We will keep a close eye on this case as it will likely have a big impact on wine shipping in Washington and other states as well. […]

Granholm signs Michigan direct shipping bill into law

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law the direct shipping bill passed by the state House. The bill allows in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship up to 1,500 cases per year to Michigan residents. Click here to see the final legislation.

Opposing legislation to be introduced in Indiana next month

When the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes next month, at least two bills will be introduced that address the issue of wine direct shipping. As is usually the case, one bill would allow direct shipments from both in-state and out-of-state wineries and one bill would prohibit direct shipments.

New York approves UPS for interstate shipping

After a long delay, New York finally approved UPS for interstate shipments. Permitted out-of-state wineries can now ship into New York via UPS. FedEx is expected to be approved soon as well. To see a complete listing of UPS allowed states for direct, onsite, and licensee to licensee shipments, you can visit the UPS Wine […]

Michigan House votes to allow the direct shipment of wine

The Detroit News reports: The state House on Tuesday voted 104-0 to approve legislation that would allow in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship up to 1,500 cases of wine a year directly to consumers. Direct shipment by out-of-state wineries had been banned under a state law ruled unconstitutional earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme […]

State liquor board suggesting wine shipment bill

The state of Washington considers moving to a Limited Direct model.

Massachusetts Governor vetoes wine bill

MA Governor Romney vetoed a bill passed by the House and Senate, calling it anti-consumer. “This bill does not give wine lovers the opportunity to purchase the bottlings they want”, he said “It creates artificial barriers to protect Massachusetts wholesalers at the expense of a free market.”

Indiana (and Kentucky) wine law challenged

Nine Indiana wineries push the courts to allow in-state shipments of wine. Add Kentucky and Indiana to the list of states that will revisit their legislation in 2006.

Pennsylvania judge strikes down out-of-state wine sales law

From law.com: “A federal judge has struck down a Pennsylvania law that prohibits out-of-state wineries from making direct sales to Pennsylvania consumers, hotels and restaurants after rejecting an argument that the law’s constitutional defect could be cured by extending the prohibition to in-state wineries.”

Federal judge allows out of state shipments in Michigan

Michigan wine lovers won a big victory Tuesday when a federal judge in Detroit ruled that out-of-state wineries can ship directly to Michigan consumers — a privilege once accorded only to Michigan producers.

Compromise in Michigan

Michigan wineries and the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association may be close to a compromise in the Senate that would allow limited direct shipping of wine by out of state wineries. The Michigan House passed HB 4959, which would “allow limited wine shipments by Michigan and out-of-state wineries to individual Michigan consumers but would […]

Granholm v. Heald

On May 16th, 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark decision in the case of Granholm, Governor of Michigan, Et Al, v. Heald Et. Al.. We will discuss this case at length in this blog, but let’s start with the basics. You can see the official Supreme Court decision here, but […]