Legislation to Know About

April 27, 2010

There are currently two pieces of legislation being pushed through that will have major impacts on me getting this project off the ground.

The first one isn’t so bad. I live in Washington State, which is a liquor control state which has state run liquor stores. During this recession, the state treasurer said that the state could save money if they got out of this business and instead allowed these stores to be privatized. There is now a group called Modernize Washington who is attempting to get this on the ballot this fall. It would create change, but I couldn’t tell you if it was a good thing or a bad thing.

The second piece of legislation is at the national level and much scarier, and is called HR 5034 (full text). It ends all direct shipping of alcohol in an effort to keep a three tiered system of producer-wholesaler-retailer and do away with online sales by the producers. As a result, the wholesalers gain a monopoly while making little producers at their mercy. Make them mad, and they won’t sell your product. Wine Reviewers would only be able to taste what the Wholesalers sell. Even wine retailers believe that there will be a huge impact on their sales.

See local new article Portland KGW – Oregon Wineries face more sales limits. April 19, 2010

Text of this video found here.

Additional reading:

Overall, I dislike the three tier system, but believe it would somewhat exist in a free market because it helps to expand the territory in which a product is sold. However, I believe it should be a choice of the producer to use a wholesaler to gain access to this market or not, and should not be legislated.

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