General Assembly Considers Online Wine Sales

General Assembly Considers Online Wine Sales

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) ―Wine lovers are looking for home delivery. A bill in the General Assembly would allow Marylanders to buy wine and have it shipped to their door.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains, it's facing some opposition.

The owner of Chesapeake Wine Company in Canton thinks the state prohibition against shipping wine is behind the times.

So while Mitchell Pressman's customers sipped Chardonnay and soaked up the sun, he was in Annapolis, testifying for businesses and customers alike.

"One of the objections I heard when I testified in front of the House two weeks ago was that retailers from outside of the state could ship wine into consumers in Maryland. But it's a reciprocal rule, which means I would be allowed to direct ship out of the state of Maryland to plenty of customers that I have," said Pressman.

That's why some of those customers made the trip to Annapolis, too.

"I just returned less than two weeks ago from a trip to Napa, Calif., which is Wine Country, USA, and I couldn't ship wine back to myself from the winery, and I can't call the winery and ask them to ship wine," said Charles Farmer, Montgomery County. "I can ship wine to my daughter who lives in D.C. I can ship wine to my friends in Virginia, but I can't ship wine to myself in Maryland."

In addition to fear of competition, opponents argue that kids could buy wine on the Internet. 

Parents have something to say about that.

"As a parent of an 18-year-old, high school senior, I know that he would need a debit card or a credit card in order to buy something over the Internet. And that would be much easier for me to monitor than what he does with his baby sitting cash," said Robert Garretson, parent.

Marylanders for Responsible Alcohol Consumption, a group that includes wholesalers and retailers, testified against the bill.

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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