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Maryland Comptroller Office Opens Study on Direct Shipping

June 1, 2010
Wines from Out of State

Wines you COULD be enjoying from other states if Maryland would let you - New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania (left to right)

In compromise for denying Marylanders the same right to directly purchase wine enjoyed by residents of 37 other states ‘because the liquor lobby pays our salaries innocent kids can’t protect themselves,’ the state legislature commissioned a study of shipping laws and their implementation around the US so that we’d all be a little more informed for the 2011 session. That study kicked off last week, as reported by the Baltimore Sun yesterday.

The very critical article takes a harsh tone with the office for not including consumer advocacy group Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws in the opening meeting. While I’m certainly glad they’re invited to round two, let’s put at least a little faith in the good people from the Maryland Wine Association, who were neutral on the bill in 2009 but have every interest in opening up additional markets for wineries around the state.

What’s your gut feeling on MD direct wine shipping in 2011? Will your vote in November hinge on the issue?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2010 8:13 pm

    Remind me never to use my iSight built-in camera for blog photos again! That picture did NOT turn out well.

  2. ariduswine permalink
    June 1, 2010 8:39 pm

    That’s great news! In Arizona, we’ve been battling these kinds of wine restriction laws for many years – only recently have Arizona residents been allowed to order out-of-state wines.

    I’m sure the Maryland political climate is much different than Arizona’s, but I assure you – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

  3. June 1, 2010 8:57 pm

    Thanks! I certainly hope so. The majority of senators and representatives supported the bill, but due to a technicality of Maryland legislative procedures, the head of the committee presenting the bill actually exercised a ‘pocket veto’ by not bringing it to the floor for a vote. All MD bills must first be approved in committees, placing an undue amount of power in the hands of the chairpeople. Of course, this particular committee chair happens to be married to a powerful liquor distributor…

    Also, over 80% of our legislators receive campaign contributions from the liquor lobby, so they really need that help this year because all delegates are up for re-election. I’m hoping that money doesn’t change anyone’s mind come 2011!

    • ariduswine permalink
      June 1, 2010 9:05 pm

      Well you’ve already made a good start by blogging about the issue! The one thing politicians really hate is bad press.

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