Proposed Law Promises to Expand Wine Choices for Maine Consumers
March 24, 2021
(Augusta, MAINE)—The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) and Maine consumers applaud the introduction of LD 1094, a bill that will provide Maine wine consumers with access to hundreds of thousands of wines they currently are banned from having shipped into the state. Moreover, if LD 1094 becomes law, Maine will see an increase in sales tax revenue.
Sponsored by Senator David Marimant, LD 1094 extends to out-of-state retailers the ability to obtain a Maine wine shipping permit. Currently, out-of-state wineries and Maine wineries may ship wine directly to Mainers. However, the same privilege is withheld from out-of-state retailers. LD 1094 would allow Maine wine lovers to receive wine shipments from Wine-of-the-Month Clubs, Internet wine retailers, specialty brick and mortar wine retailers, and wine auction houses—all of which are licensed as wine retailers in their own states and may not obtain a Maine wine shipping permit under current law.
“Senator Miramant’s legislation is practical and well-vetted to assure wine is delivered from out-of-state retailers safely and efficiently,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of retailers. “Nearby states such as New Hampshire and Connecticut both allow their residents to receive wine shipments under similar conditions and restrictions laid out in LD 1094. Moreover, the same conditions under which out-of-state wineries have shipped wine since 2009 and that have posed no problems would apply to out-of-state retailers under LD 1094.
In 2020 Mainers saw more than $4 million in wine shipped directly to them from wineries. NAWR expects that within 18-24 months after LD 1094 becomes law, out-of-state retailers will be remitting sales tax to Maine on at least that much in wine sales and shipments to state residents.
“Providing Mainers with access to wines from out-of-state wine stores is sensible for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it gives the state’s wine lovers access to thousands of wines not currently available in the state, provides significant sales tax to the State, and put Maine in the forefront of the well-regulated wine e-commerce trend,” said Wark. “We commend Senator Marimant and the other co-sponsors of LD 1094 for supporting Maine wine lovers and free trade.”