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House passes bill legalizing direct shipments of wine to consumers

Red wine pouring into wine glass, close-up

The Alabama House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill Thursday that would allow consumers to order wine and have it shipped to their residences.

House Bill 350 is sponsored by State Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur.

The bill would allow a licensed wine manufacturer to purchase a direct shipper license from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Shipping wine directly to a consumer without the direct shipper permit would be a class C misdemeanor for the shipper and the delivery service carrier if they had knowledge that the shipper did not have a valid direct shipper license from ABC.

The cost to apply for the direct shipper license is $200. The annual renewal fee will be $100 a year, and the shipper may not ship to any address that has an ABC license. Purchase of a direct shipper license means consenting to ABC Board authority and jurisdiction, collecting and remitting all applicable sales and use taxes to the Alabama Department of Revenue and accepting that if there is any future litigation, it will be in the Alabama court system.

“This applies only to wine,” Collins said.

State Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, offered an amendment that would exempt wines with an existing distributor network in the state.

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At Collins’ urging, the body tabled Pringle’s amendment.

The bill has originally limited consumers to just 18 shipments per residence per year, but Collins accepted an amendment from State Rep. Corley Ellis, R-Columbiana, that lowered the limit to no more than one case of wine per calendar month to any one household, each case not exceeding nine liters of wine. The wine shall be shipped directly to a resident of Alabama who is at least 21 years of age for the resident’s personal use and not for resale.

HB350 now goes to the Alabama Senate for their consideration.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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