Senate considers bills to change how we buy, transport alcohol

State

Jackson, Miss. (WJTV) — House Bill 995 would allow people to buy alcohol at the distillery where it’s made. There’s currently against the law, but David Rich at Rich Grain Distilling Company would like to see the law change.

Rich makes 4 different products at his Canton-based distillery, “And I’m in lots of stores across the state but the way this bill, if passed, you could come to the distillery, take a tour, see how it’s made and then buy a bottle here and take it home with you.”

Distilleries would have to buy their own products from the Department of Revenue’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. Rich says that would come at a 27.5% markup.

“I’m definitely in favor of the passage of this bill,” says Rich. “It would be a great thing to give customers an option to buy directly from the distillery. I think it’s been a long time coming. People would never dream, if I was a chair maker and there was a law that said you are not allowed to buy a chair directly from me, you can only buy a chair from the government people, would think that was strange. This kind of brings it in line with other industries and being able to buy from a manufacturer.”

The legislature is also considering changing how much they charge for a distiller’s permit. Rich says permits and licenses are steep, but worth it.

He also says being able to sell out of his own shop would mean a wider variety of products, “Probably release a lot of experimental, one off type of things that you can only get at the distillery. There’s lots of new things I’d like to make that I haven’t yet and if this bill passed, I would have a lot more experimental things that people could only get here.”

Lawmakers are also considering House Bill 192. It would allow people to move liquor, wine and beer through dry areas on a state or federal highway if containers are unopened. Right now, you can be charged if caught moving alcohol in dry areas.

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