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Florida may revoke wine shipping access on May 5th

At least three bills that address wine direct shipping are pending in the Florida legislature in the current session. Senate Bill 126 (Saunders) and Senate Bill 2282 (Geller) both include restrictive “capacity caps” that would prohibit any winery that produces more than 250,000 gallons per year from shipping directly to Florida residents. House Bill 1217 (Bogdanoff) does not include any capacity caps and is based on the model direct shipping bill. Wineries and wine consumers are supporting HB 1217 while wine wholesalers are pushing the capacity caps.

Since February of 2006, wineries have been able to ship to Florida under a determination by the Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) that helped bring Florida into compliance with Granholm until more permanent legislation was passed. However, the DBPR is now hinting on their wine direct shipping website that if legislation is not passed by May 5th, they may revoke the right to ship wine to Florida until legislation is finalized.

IMPORTANT

This website is provided for informational purposes only and is not legally binding. The Florida Legislature is considering legislation on the wine shipment issue this legislative session and is expected to pass legislation that directly impacts wine shipment into Florida. For your convenience a link to the web pages of the Florida House of Representatives (www.myfloridahouse.gov) and the Florida Senate (www.flsenate.gov) are provided so that you might be aware of pending legislation; you should contact your legislator for additional information. This website will remain as a resource until the last day of Session, May 4, 2007.

A federal court ruling on shipment of wine from out of state wineries to Floridians precludes enforcement of the ban on direct wine shipments from non-Florida wineries to Florida consumers. The ruling did not limit the state’s authority to collect taxes on wine or to enforce the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages, including wine, to a person under the age of 21.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation remains responsible for the regulation of all alcoholic beverages in Florida.

Current ruling:
MyFlorida.com

Bill texts:
Senate Bill 2282 (Geller)
House Bill 1217 (Bogdanoff)
Senate Bill 126 (Saunders)

Related articles:
Sun Sentinel
Business Wire (Free the Grapes!)

Tampa Bay Business Journal
South Florida Business Journal
Jacksonville Business Journal

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