AUGUSTA — Lawmakers are proposing bills that would make it easier for beer, wine, and spirits to be delivered to your doorstep.
Legislators and those who testified in favor of changing Maine’s liquor laws said the pandemic has made it abundantly clear how important it is to have direct-to-consumer shipping.
Members of the veterans and legal affairs committee heard testimony from people on both sides of the debate.
A supporter of the bill, Sean Sullivan, the executive director at Maine Brewer’s Guild, said the way the law is currently written doesn’t make sense.
“Today, Maine breweries can ship beer directly to customers’ doorsteps in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but they can’t ship to Kittery,” said Sullivan.
He said while they can transport beer by car, being based in South Portland makes it difficult to deliver to all parts of the state.
Another combined bill would allow people to order wine from other states.
Tom Wark, executive director for the National Association of Wine Retailers, said he would also like to see the law change.
“On a daily basis, our members across the country get requests from Mainers who would like to buy wine and have it shipped to them and our members have to tell them no, we can’t do that, it’s illegal,” said Wark.
He said one of their most common requests is from customers who can’t find a specific type of wine.
However, some people think this would open Pandora’s box of problems.
“If you let people buy out of the state, suddenly they have an innate advantage over the retailers here, and I have a real concern with that,” said Anthony Rossetti, owner of Blue Acres Beverage Warehouse & Redemption Center.
He said this could have a negative impact on the state’s economy.
“We already get overrun with stuff we have to put in the traditional recycling center, where we don’t get our money back because it’s coming in from out of state,” Rossetti said. “And that’s a big issue because people are going to be buying products that are going to end up in our landfills.”
As it stands, if you want to wine delivered to your door it will need to be an in-state purchase.
Also, if you want to order beer or malt liquor, it will need to be within a delivery range from a local store.
However, this could change as both bills go through the legislative process.