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Free The Grapes Update


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August 2011


Most 2011 legislative sessions have concluded for the year. And it has been a very good vintage!
Here are the major wins:

  • Maryland opened for winery shipping July 1, the 38th legal state for winery shipments.
  • New Mexico transitioned from a “reciprocal” to a permit state, increasing access and choice.
  • Florida remains open after the wholesalers’ fourth try at imposing a capacity cap failed.

Additionally, several fix-it bills corrected cumbersome statutes, and key states gained positive momentum:

  • Tennessee now allows direct shipping throughout the state, rather than just to “dry” addresses.
  • Indiana will conduct a Maryland-like wine shipping study, which was key to opening MD. 
  • Pennsylvania is in serious discussions with industry representatives on direct shipping.
  • Louisiana added shipping privileges for in-state retailers to match out-of-state retailer rules, and raised the case limit for all shippers from 4 to 12 cases annually. 
  • Massachusetts is considering a bill that would fix the fleet licensing issue, and conform to the 1st Circuit Court victory in the case brought forward by Coalition for Free Trade and Family Winemakers of California.
  • New Jersey’s legislature has until March 2012 to develop a solution, following an administrative stay, and several bills have been considered.    

Of course, HR 1161 is still a serious threat to progress. Wine lovers like you have sent 11,200 letters through www.freethegrapes.org to Congress opposing this bill. With approximately 50+ House co-sponsors, the bill still does not have a Senate sponsor, however, wine industry representatives tell Free the Grapes! that a fall hearing is very likely.
So if you haven’t yet sent a message to your representatives, just visit the following link, learn about the bill, and take two minutes to personalize your message. http://www.capwiz.com/freegrapes/issues/alert/?alertid=37377501

Free the Grapes!

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E-mail: shackles@freethegrapes.org |    facebook Free The Grapes Update

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