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The New Jersey Legislature recently failed to approve legislation to revise the state’s laws pertaining to winery retail sales and shipments. A Senate bill sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney passed 24-11 but its companion bill in the Assembly, which had been amended to mirror the Senate bill never came up for a vote. This inactivity could spell disaster for the state’s wine industry, the 7th largest producing state in the nation. In fact, it can put individuals like Bob Clark, owner of Chestnut Run Farm (www.chestnutrunfarm.com) out of business.
We’ll discuss the impact of this legislation, as well as the Federal Court case hanging over the future of the New Jersey wine industry with Bob Clark and Steven Some of Capital Public Affairs, who has been leading the efforts behind www.UnCorkNJ.com, a grassroots coalition of over 10,000 wine consumers in the state of New Jersey to get a direct shipping bill passed in the legislature. Direct shipping was a major component of the Senate legislation and is strongly opposed by the liquor lobby, retailers and wholesalers who do not want wineries to be able to ship directly to consumers. Currently, 38 states allow direct shipping.
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