A1702: The Future of New Jersey’s Direct Shipment of Wine
A bill introduced by the New Jersey State Assembly, A1702, seeks to permit direct shipment from wineries to New Jersey consumers and would supplement Title 33 of the Revised Statutes. (An identical bill, titled S766, has already been passed by the New Jersey Senate.) A1702 would permit a “plenary winery licensee” that has retail privileges or a “farm winery licensee” to apply for a Wine Direct Shipper License for $100 and an annual renewal fee of $50. (Emphasis added.) If granted such a license, a winery (as recognized by the Act) would be allowed to ship “not more than 24 nine-liter cases of wine annually to any person in this State over 21 years of age for personal consumption and not for resale.” Alternatively, “[a] manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer of alcoholic beverages who is not licensed in this State and who holds a valid license issued by another state may make application to the director for a Wine Direct Shipper License” for an annual fee of $100. (Emphasis added.) Wine shipped by such businesses “may ship wine to any person in this State over 21 years of age for personal consumption and not for resale” and must conspicuously labeled, “CONTAINS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: SIGNATURE OF PERSON AGE 21 OR OLDER REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY.” (Emphasis added.) The text of the bill can be read at New Jersey State Legislature Assembly, No. 1702 and further information can be obtained at New Jersey State Legislature — Bills.
This Act is interesting given the current status of H.R. 5034 and houses, in fact, the direct opposite of the objective which H.R. 5034 seeks to attain. A1702 poses to support agricultural production within the state of New Jersey by providing alternative means that currently legally permitted for wine producers to ship their products to in-state consumers. (See Direct Shipment of Jersey-made Wines: Good Idea.) (Noting that New Jersey is the seventh largest wine producer in the United States and that, whereas wine producers seek preservation of customer loyalty and to directly ship products to in-state consumers, they are currently restricted from doing so by state laws.) Irrespective of the New Jersey bill’s support among wine producers and other wine enthusiasts, it has still received some recent commentary by opponents. (See Bill Not In State’s Best Interest.) (Arguing that A1702 would cost New Jersey tens of millions of dollars in “lost excise and sales taxes as well as lead to destabilization of our three-tier system and industry” and severely curtail the number of jobs in New Jersey.)