Maryland Governor Signs Limited Self-Distribution Bill

On April 25, 2006, Bob Governor Ehrlich signed legislation that was passed in response to a legal challenge of the existing self-distribution laws in Maryland. Under the new statute, Maryland wineries under 27,500 gallons may continue to self-distribute by obtaining a “Class 6 Limited Wine Wholesaler’s License” for their winery premise, or for another premise in the state. The bill also creates a new “Non-Resident Winery Permit” that allows an out-of-state winery that produces “not more than 27,500 gallons of its own wine annually” to self-distribute to Maryland retailers and restaurant licensees. Any winery holding utilizing self-distribution under these license programs may not sell through wholesalers in the state as well. The bill became effective immediately. We will obtain permit applications when they become available. For more information contact State Relations at (415) 356-7530.