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by Patricia M. Roth | January 11, 2013 | 8:24 AM

Free the Grapes! points out:

Massachusetts is the largest state that continues to prevent consumers from buying wine from out-of-state wineries, even though the legislature has had three years to act on an appellate court ruling directing the legislature to correct its unconstitutional ban on wine shipments.

On January 14, 2010, Judge Rya Zobel of the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional a 2006 Massachusetts law banning winery-to-consumer shipments from wineries producing more than 30,000 gallons per year and who retain Massachusetts wholesalers.

The legislature was expected to conform to the ruling by passing a model bill similar to those working successfully in the majority of U.S. states. Massachusetts is the largest state for wine consumption that continues to ban direct shipping; the list also includes Utah, Kentucky, Alabama, and seven others.

We agree with Jeremy Benson, executive director of Free the Grapes!, when he says:

“Other states have seen through the protectionist arguments and the red herrings presented by special interests. Legal, regulated direct shipping adds to tax coffers without hurting local businesses.”

Free the Grapes! expects a new bill allowing direct shipping in Massachusetts to be introduced soon -- and they're calling on Massachusetts wine lovers to write a letter to their state representatives. To make it easy, just go here.


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