The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission issued a press release a couple of days ago:
Texas law requires that anyone selling alcoholic beverages in the state must hold a TABC license or permit…TABC has notified unlicensed retailers repeatedly (September 2008, November 2009 and May 2010) requesting that they cease these illegal shipments. “I can’t say enough regarding FedEx and UPS’ willingness to come to the table and work with TABC,” said TABC Administrator Alan Steen. “We all see the value of working together on the front end to ensure legal transactions and a satisfied and educated customer. This collaboration is a proactive step toward that end.”
UPS and FedEx will contact retailers identified by Texas that if they continue to ship into Texas, UPS and FedEx will cut off their “business relationship” — meaning, I think, that UPS and FedEx will no longer provide shipping to those retailers for any purpose whatsoever.
Following the TABC press release, the Specialty Wine Retailers Association issued a press release of its own.
SWRA regrets that Texas consumers are denied access to a majority of the wines they can otherwise buy throughout the United States, including older vintages, thousands of imported wines only available through select retail outlets, hard-to-find and collectible wines not available in Texas or direct from wineries, highly coveted wines from the auction market, and wines provided by wine-of-the-month clubs…SWRA believes that limiting the wine selection and ownership rights of Texas consumers in this way demeans the Texas consumer, violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, prevents the state of Texas from receiving significant amounts of tax revenue and encourages law breaking by Texas Citizens.
Lawsuits, no doubt, to follow.
I, personally, don’t have a dog in this hunt, but sometimes find myself wishing that Texas had stayed an independent country.