MD Report On Wine By Mail Called 'Starting Point'
State Considering Allowing Direct Wine Shipments
POSTED: 3:57 pm EST December 21, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Comptroller Peter Franchot said a report on how 37 states and Washington, D.C., execute laws allowing direct shipment of alcoholic beverages is a "starting point" for Maryland.
Last session, more than 100 lawmakers and the governor supported a bill for direct wine shipments, but a committee looking into it refused to pass it. Instead, they ended up commissioning a report on the issue, which was unveiled by Franchot on Tuesday.
"They wanted the facts, and that's what we're presenting today," Franchot said. "There's a lot of pressure in both branches of the House and Senate to pass direct shipment legislation, and this hopefully will be a useful blueprint for them to follow, should they go in that direction."
"There's a lot of pressure in both branches of the House and Senate to pass direct shipment legislation, and this hopefully will be a useful blueprint for them to follow."
- Comptroller Peter Franchot
The report surveyed more than 3,000 people and groups in the 37 states. It highlighted a number of recommendations for lawmakers, including instituting a $100 permit fee with a $100 annual renewal for sellers.
The report said only in- and out-of-state wineries would be able to sell -- not out-of-state retailers -- and consumers would be limited to 12 cases of wine per person per year.
It said there would be no Sunday deliveries, and the carrier would be responsible for collecting taxes for the state.
The report showed that underage drinking wasn't a problem in any of the states that were surveyed.
The comptroller said if direct wine shipments do become a reality, they could double the number of wineries in the state and add jobs.