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05/23/2024 10:10 AM
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2023 02:06 PM
From: Representative Robert W. Mercuri
To: All House members
Subject: Expanding Online Wine Sales
In coming days, I will be introducing legislation to expand commerce and consumer choice in wine sales by modernizing Pennsylvania’s regulations governing online ordering of wine products. People across the country enjoy ordering goods and services online – and wine is no exception.  The convenience of ordering wine on the internet and having it delivered to your door has been made even more popular recently as more time is spent remotely. Currently for Pennsylvania residents, the only way to legally order wine online from out of state is either through a cumbersome and inconvenient process offered by the Liquor Control Board (LCB) or from an out-of-state winery that has the capability to ship wine across the country and that has applied for and received from the LCB a Direct Wine Shippers (DWS) license. Even for these wineries, they are limited to only wine they make and only if they have the infrastructure; many small wineries don’t.

These licensees may then ship directly to Pennsylvania homes via common carrier, but in terms of convenience the experience is unsatisfactory.
Wine sellers that do not procure DWS licenses who currently receive orders from and ship directly to Pennsylvania residents are operating at risk to their business, shareholders, and consumers.  Currently, these online retailers (constituting a multi-million-dollar industry) are, for all intents and purposes, not regulated. 
Given the reality of the e-commerce, the ordering, sale, and shipment of wine is here to stay; it is past time to modernize Pennsylvania’s regulations to support industry and national best in class standards, as we have done with previous liquor privatization efforts.
I intend to introduce legislation that would provide a new, significant revenue source for the Commonwealth while providing a regulatory framework for a growing industry.  This legislation is narrow in focus, designed specifically to not impinge upon the rights and privileges of current licensees.
Please consider cosponsoring this important legislation.


Introduced as HB48