From the Carroll County Times: Public Input Sought on Direct Shipment of Wine to Maryland Consumers

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT ON PROPOSAL

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is asking the public to weigh in on the proposed idea of allowing wine to be shipped directly to consumers.

People can express their opinions through a survey on the website www.marylandtaxes.com until Sept. 30.

Currently, Maryland residents can purchase wine directly from an out-of-state winery if the winery obtains a Direct Wine Seller’s Permit and delivers the wine through a Maryland wholesaler to a retailer for store pickup.

The Maryland Winery Modernization Act, passed last session by the Maryland General Assembly, calls for the Comptroller’s Office to conduct a study on the effects of direct wine shipment, including its impact on consumers. The comptroller is the chief regulator of alcoholic beverages in the state.

The direct wine shipment report will evaluate the best practices of the 37 states and the District of Columbia which currently permit either wineries or retailers, or both, to ship wine directly to consumers in their states.

Additionally, fiscal, tax and other public policy and regulatory issues will be examined. A determination will also be made about how direct wine shipment in Maryland would affect alcoholic beverage licensees, underage access to alcohol, and the benefits and costs to consumers. The comptroller will issue the direct wine shipment report at the end of 2010.

Separate surveys have been issued to Maryland wineries, nonresident wineries, wholesalers and retailers soliciting data and commentary.

– Carrie Ann Knauer

By Carrie Ann Knauer, Carroll County Times Staff Writer | 0 comments

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