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Archive for the ‘Regulation’ Category

The Situation In New Jersey

January 10th, 2012 by Tom Johnson

New Jersey’s legislature passed a direct shipping law yesterday that gets the state out of dutch with the Supreme Court. To which I say: thank goodness. I was worried Scalia was going to have to go up there and bust some kneecaps. The direct shipping reform was just one part of a busy day for [...]

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As Always, Keep New Jersey In Your Prayers

January 9th, 2012 by Tom Johnson

The New Jersey State Assembly is scheduled to vote today on a direct shipping bill. If it passes, New Jersey will be the 39th state to allow direct shipping.

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

October 17th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

There’s a serious political battle going on in Washington state over state-owned liquor stores. One one side, we have big money flowing in from D.C.-based wholesaler groups who want nothing ever to change under any circumstances whatever and unions representing state liquor store employees.  On the other side we have advocates of a free market or, to [...]

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Racism and Alcohol Regulation

September 15th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Oklahoma is considering allowing “strong beer” and wine to be sold in grocery stores. Lobbying against the change is a contradictory but familiar coalition of neo-prohibitionists and liquor store owners. Down in the poll data, there is this: when asked, in the abstract, whether grocery store sales should be allowed, 54% of Oklahomans polled say [...]

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The Long History of Widely Ignored Wine Regulation

August 11th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Lindsey Zahn at On Reserve traces wine regulation back to the First Century A.D., when Roman Emperor Domitian banned the planting of new vineyard in what is now Italy and ordered half the vineyards in outlying provinces to be torn up. The edict was created because of a strong outbreak of famine in the Empire [...]

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Well, It Looks Like I’m Going to Have to Find Some New Material

August 9th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The hilarious Pennsylvania Wine Kiosk Experiment (complete history here) has finally reached its destiny, devolving into a round of mutually destructive lawsuits between the state Liquor Control Board and Simple Brands, the company that manufactured the vending machines. The LCB claims the Conshohocken-based contractor that provided the kiosks owes the state nearly $1 million. The [...]

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Gentlemen, Start Your Lawyers

June 9th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

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 [...]

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Pennsylvania Wine Kiosks Remain Dead, Get Closer to Burial

June 3rd, 2011 by Tom Johnson

If you’re like me, you’re mildly entertained by the folly that is Pennsylvania’s wine kiosk program. That program, which uses a Rube Goldberg-designed system of pulleys and startled pigeons to grudgingly dispense wine to inevitably disappointed shoppers, has failed utterly. More importantly, it has failed humorously, including getting robotically snappish with customers during the busy [...]

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When the Only Ally You Have Is Someone You Don’t Much Like

May 16th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Michael Johnson, a lobbyist for beer wholesalers, writes a completely self-serving column designed to calm those concerned about HR 1161, widely touted as a bill to outlaw direct shipping of wine. Mr. Johnson (no relation) refers to 1161 by its marketing-friendly name, the CARE Act, and want’s us all to understand: The CARE Act would not [...]

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Wine Labeling Getting Harder and Easier at the Same Time

May 6th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The TTB, the federal bureau charged with regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages, is considering defining some words often used on wine labels. The regulators are wondering whether to require strict definitions for an array of terms that include “Proprietors Blend,” “Old Vine,” “Barrel Fermented,” “Reserve,” “Select Harvest,” “Bottle Aged” and “Barrel Select.” The industry’s [...]

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