Alaska DTC Update, Feb. 9, 2024

As previously reported, Alaska is in the process of developing new rules governing Manufacturer Direct Shipment Licenses (MDSL) which impacts wineries and other types of alcoholic beverage manufacturers becoming licensed prior to the program requirements being finalized. On Jan 30th, the Alaska Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office’s (AMCO) Alcohol Board approved a new draft of proposed Manufacturer Direct Shipment License (MDSL) rules that addressed all of Wine Institute’s requested changes as a part of the Board’s regulatory project that was approved during its last meeting in November 2023.

The proposed draft would bring the existing administrative requirements into alignment with the Title 4 Rewrite statute by:

  1. Allowing MDSLs to use online age verification services.
  2. Removing the requirement for MDSLs to check if the purchaser (and recipient if different) are on the state’s list of persons who are restricted from purchasing alcohol.
  3. Removing the requirement that electronic and written orders must be shipped from the MDSL within five business days of receipt.
  4. Simplifying labeling requirements for shipments from MDSLs.
  5. Allowing MDSLs to accept telephonic orders.

The statutorily required process for enacting regulations in Alaska requires publication, public comment period, Department of Law review, and approval by the Lt. Governor. Based on the regulatory process, the new rules for MDSLs are not currently expected to become effective before May 2024, at the earliest. Wine Institute will continue to work with AMCO and its Alcohol Board to ensure that the regulations and processes are made as workable as possible and will keep members informed on developments.

Members are continued to be advised to wait until the new regulations for MDSLs are complete and effective before applying for the new license in order to avoid running afoul of the existing regulations.