House votes to loosen Louisiana alcohol, wine delivery rules

Politics

Liquor (Nexstar Photo)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Consumers could get wine shipped directly from manufacturers, under a bill that narrowly won passage Monday from the Louisiana House.

If passed in the Senate and signed by the governor, the new law would expand even further how spirits can be delivered.

In June 2020, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a law allowing third-party delivery services like UberEats and Waitr to deliver beer and wine through contract workers, expanding a previous law that only allowed employees of grocery stores, liquor stores and restaurants to deliver the libations.

But current law prohibits wine manufacturers from shipping wine directly to a consumer unless that consumer makes the purchase in person at the winery, or unless the manufacturer doesn’t have a wholesale agreement to sell in the state through stores and other sites.

Rep. Joseph Orgeron (R-Dist. 54) of Larose, said 44 other states allow similar direct shipments of wine without such conditions. He said his proposal would increase consumer access.

The vote was unanimous for a second alcohol measure that would let restaurants sell pre-packaged, pre-measured, “ready-to-drink” alcoholic beverages for delivery. Republican Rep. John Illg (R-Dist 78), of River Ridge, said the measure would help the state’s ailing restaurant industry. A 95-0 vote sent that bill to the Senate for debate.

Opponents suggest the change could damage wholesalers and the retailers that sell wine.

Lawmakers sent the proposal to the Senate with a 53-40 vote. That was exactly the number of votes it needed to pass.

To read the actual bills, click here:

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