Bill allowing shipment of wine to Alabama residents dies in Senate

After a lengthy April public hearing and on a 6-4 vote, the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved a substitute version of legislation to create a new Alcoholic Beverage Control Board license allowing the shipment of wine directly to Alabama consumers. The full Senate never considered SB329 by Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison.

Under the bill, a currently licensed wine producer, supplier, importer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer could have obtained a wine direct shipper license in order to send limited quantities of wine directly to Alabama residents for their personal use.

Those with a wine direct shipper license would have been able to ship up to 24 cases of wine annually to a 21-year-old or older Alabama resident for that resident’s personal use and not for resale. A case was defined as nine liters or less of wine. The license would have been $100 with a $50 annual renewal.

Each calendar year, wine direct shippers outside of Alabama would have been required to report the total amount of wine shipped into Alabama during the year to the ABC board and the amount of taxes collected to the Revenue Department.

During the public hearing, alcohol, wine and beer distributors as well as a group against any expansion of alcohol sales spoke against the bill, while an Alabama winery owner, an Alabama vineyard owner hoping to open an Alabama winery and lobbyists representing California wineries spoke in favor of the bill.

This article is part of the Alabama Retail Report, a communication for Alabama Retail Association members. Not a member? Join us!

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