Ken Starr on Interstate Wine Shipment

A blog posting on Professor Bainbridge about why bans on interstate wine shipments exist:

Ken Starr on Interstate Wine Shipment

After ably serving his nation as a special prosecutor (heh), Ken Starr has turned of late to even more important work - fighting state bans on interstate wine shipments. In today's WSJ ($), he explains:

Some states have insisted that while in-state wineries may directly ship their products to consumers, out-of-state wineries cannot. So a Manhattanite can order wine from a winery in Long Island, but not from one in Virginia. These states have effectively erected a sign at their borders that says, Stop, Don't Enter!

Why do these laws persist? Starr explains:

Who could possibly support these discriminatory laws? Those who have the most to lose from repeal: the liquor distributors, known in the trade as the "booze boys." These distributors exact massive, and in many areas oligopolistic, profits from wineries as a price for distributing their products to retail stores -- and in some cases, refuse to distribute wine from smaller wineries at all. Like pirates exacting a ransom, they add no value. But they have a powerful incentive to keep the current system in place.
The booze boys' lobbyists contend that restrictive state laws are necessary to further the worthy goal of reducing youth access to alcohol. But it defies common sense to suggest that a 16-year- ld wanting to drink would settle for the delayed gratification of ordering wine over the Internet, rather than just get a bottle from a local store or bar. And if direct shipping promotes underage drinking, why allow direct shipping from in-state wineries, and prohibit merely from out of state?

Exactly. These laws are indefensible. Sound public policy counsels their repeal forthwith.

Wineries with Permits

Wineries Able to Ship to MD

Here is a link to the Comptroller's website. Search for "DW-Direct Wine Shippers Permit" under permit type.

Search for wineries


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