Monday, September 4, 2017
Rant: MA Wine Lovers, We Urgently Need Your Help!
In 2014, Massachusetts passed a Direct Shipment law, allowing out-of-state wineries to ship to consumers in the state. This was a great start and numerous wineries took advantage of this new law, acquiring licenses so that they could ship to local consumers. However, the law applies only to wineries and doesn't include out-of-state retailers. Thus, Massachusetts residents are still unable to order from online retailers or cool wine stores in other states.
However, that may change soon but your help is needed to enact this great and positive change.
Wine Freedom provides information about a new bill, H3891, sponsored by Representative John Lawn, Jr., which would allow Massachusetts residents to "purchase and have shipped to them wine from out-of-state wine stores, Internet retailers, wine auction houses and wine-of-the-month clubs." Retailers would only need to acquire a license, for an initial fee of $300 and $150 in subsequent years, to be able to sell and ship to Massachusetts consumers.
What a great thing if this bill becomes law! You would be able to order almost any wine available in the U.S., vastly expanding your vinous choices. Under the current law, you can order from U.S. wineries, but opening up matters to online retailers and stores would also allow you to purchase international wines that have not previously been available in Massachusetts. We desperately need this bill to pass.
As an added bonus, Massachusetts would receive significant revenue from taxes on these wine shipments, which Wine Freedom states would be "upwards of $2 million." Obviously, the added revenue could assist our state budget, providing monies for programs that might otherwise had been cut or reduced.
On Tuesday, September 12, Bill H3891, which has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, is set for a hearing at 2 pm. Now, here is the part where we need your urgent assistance to "contact their members of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure now and urge them to support and sign on as a sponsor of this legislation." All you have to do is go to this webpage and take 30 seconds to fill out the form, which will get emailed to all of the committee members.
PLEASE, PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM! It takes almost no time to fill out this form and we need you to do so immediately, prior to the upcoming committee hearing on September 12. If you love wine, then why wouldn't you want access to thousands of additional wines that were previously unavailable to you? Expanding your wine choices benefits all of us. Massachusetts wine laws have been slowly changing, in a positive way, and we need to continue that streak by allowing direct shipment from not just wineries, but also wine retailers and stores across the country.
Join me and other wine lovers in Massachusetts and lend your support to this bill. All it takes is filling out the form on this webpage. It would also help if you spread the word, telling your family and friends to fill out this form too. We need as many people as possible to give their support to this bill and let the Committee know about our support.