Sen. Luchini bill to help Maine liquor manufacturers grow their market receives bipartisan support

Posted: March 03, 2021 | Senator Luchini, Veterans and Legal Affairs

AUGUSTA – On Wednesday, a bill sponsored by Sen. Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth, to allow Maine manufacturers of alcohol to sell directly to out-of-state consumers, was approved by the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. An amended version of LD 307, “An Act To Expand the Market for Maine Liquor Manufacturers,” passed with unanimous, bipartisan support of those committee members present, with two members absent.

“This is a small step in helping our Maine manufacturers — distilleries, wineries and breweries — expand their customer base and grow their businesses,” said Sen. Luchini. “Maine’s craft alcohol industries are nationally renowned for quality and innovation, and there are consumers in other states who want to enjoy Maine’s products. This bill gives Maine manufacturers the opportunity to grow their customer base, and comes at a time when manufacturers need to find creative ways to rebound from the negative effects of the pandemic.”

Current law allows Maine alcohol manufacturers to sell to out-of-state distributors but limits direct sales to out-of-state consumers to wine only. LD 307 would allow Maine manufacturers of all types of alcohol to sell directly to out-of-state consumers if the consumer’s state of residence permits it. As amended, LD 307 also clarifies that alcohol purchased by out-of-state distributors is not subject to Maine excise tax. Out-of-state consumers who purchase alcohol directly from Maine manufacturers also would not be subjected to Maine spirit tax under the provisions of LD 307.

If signed into law, LD 307 would go into effect on April 1, 2021. The bill now faces further votes in the Senate and the House.