November 1, 2021
One can never say that DTC shipping legislation is boring.
Here are some highlights from 2021 (so far):
- Ohio now allows DTC shipments for wineries producing more than 250k gallons/year;
- Alabama became the 47th state to allow winery-to-consumer direct shipping although the application process is challenging;
- New Jersey’s Commerce Committee heard a bill to remove its capacity cap;
- Idaho and Nevada recently reversed their retailer-to-consumer DTC privileges; and
- State licensing for fulfillment houses has become a hot topic.
Legislative Updates: HOT STATES
OHIO: LICENSE APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE FOR ALL U.S. WINERIES
The state’s new budget bill (HB 110) created a new S-2 permit for wineries producing more than 250k gallons/year and changes the existing S permit for wineries that produce fewer to a S-1 permit. The new law became effective September 30. Wineries may review the license applications on Wine Institute’s page here: https://wineinstitute.compliancerules.org/state/ohio/
NEW JERSEY: ONLY STATE WITH CAPACITY CAP
With the news from Ohio, NJ became the only state with a capacity cap statute. Industry lobbyists seek a hearing during the post-election, lame duck session. As you may recall, last June the NJ Senate Commerce Committee held an “information only” hearing (no voting) on SB2683 which would remove the state’s capacity cap.
We continue to encourage wineries to contact their NJ consumers, urging them to use our website: Hold a vote on SB2683 this fall!
Additional State Updates
ALABAMA. Wine Institute has been working with the state to streamline some of the onerous license application requirements. Stay tuned to changes on their page here: https://wineinstitute.compliancerules.org/state/alabama/
ARKANSAS: S546, which would have removed the current requirement that the consumer first visit the winery premises prior to any DTC shipments, was withdrawn by the author.
DELAWARE: HB210 would replace DE’s ban with the industry’s model permit bill and is likely to be considered more fully in early 2022. Although the bill puts comparatively low annual limits on shipments/household (3 cases), and per winery shipments (1,800 cases), it is a big step in the right direction for one of the three remaining states with an outright ban on DTC shipping.
FLORIDA: SB50, an economic nexus bill, went into effect 7/1/21, requiring wineries selling more than $100k in DTC sales the previous calendar year to pay a remote seller’s tax.
IDAHO: The state’s ABC confirmed it has removed the retailer DTC reciprocity agreement.
KANSAS: As previously reported, H2137, an omnibus bill, was signed by the Governor 5/19/21. The new statute provides for fulfillment house reporting like that done in Kentucky and Tennessee.
KENTUCKY: HB415, a fix-it bill creating a fulfillment house license and allowing DTC shipments from alternating proprietorships, was signed by the Governor 3/12/21 and went into immediate effect.
LOUISIANA: We are hopeful that a bill to remove the state’s “wholesaler exclusion,” banning DTC shipments of wines in LA wholesale distribution, will be introduced again in 2022. Separately, the state has sent cease and desist orders to fulfillment companies.
MISSOURI: S153, an economic nexus bill, would modify tax collections to include remote sellers exceeding the threshold of $100k in sales during a 12-month period. The bill was signed by the Governor on 6/30/21, and will become effective on 1/1/23.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: S14 was signed by the Governor this summer and took effect last month. The new statute allows the state’s liquor commission to be a DTC shipper of wine and spirits both in and out-of-state.