Senate panel OKs amendment to Alabama’s direct wine shipper law, time may run out for bill

Wednesday, the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee voted to amend Act No. 2021-419, the 2021 law that allows wineries to ship wine directly to Alabama homes.

SB172 by Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, would:

  • allow a direct wine shipper licensee or wine fulfillment center licensee to ship wine to an Alabama resident in any county or municipality in the state, dry or wet.
  • For those who are already licensed in Alabama as a wine manufacturer, prohibit the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board from requiring additional liquor liability insurance; background checks of officers, employees, or agents of the applicant; identification or proof of citizenship of officers, employees, or agents of the applicant; or any in-person appointment or meeting.
  • exempt direct wine shippers and wine fulfillment centers from registering as a foreign entity with the Secretary of State.

I’m not trying to change the law, just to make it work better,” Singleton told the committee.

Bob Martin, general counsel for the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, asked the committee to hold off on making any changes to the 2021 law that allowed direct wine shipment to Alabama homes. “I think it is working,” said Martin. Since the Aug. 1, 2021, effective date, 89 direct wine shippers have been licensed in Alabama, he added.

SB172 now goes to the full Senate for consideration, but only four days remain in the session for it to reach final passage. Passage, while possible, will be difficult to achieve. The companion legislation, HB240, has not advanced during the session.

As of Aug. 1, 2021, wineries can ship wine directly to Alabama homes


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