BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe was at the State House Thursday, urging lawmakers to end a ban on wine shipments from out-of-state.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports
Bledsoe owns a small winery in Washington. He’s asking legislators on Beacon Hill to allow Massachusetts residents to order wine from other states online and have it shipped to their homes.
“Ultimately, you’re talking about one-percent of wine in the United States is direct-shipped. You’re also only talking about wine, you’re not talking beer, spirits,” Bledsoe told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.
Listen: Bledsoe On Gresh & Zo
Three years ago, a federal judge ruled the Massachusetts ban was unconstitutional, but lawmakers haven’t done anything about it.
“It’s a big deal, particularly for the small wineries around the country, of which I think there are about 8,000 wineries. Being able to ship new cases of wine direct to customers in a state like Massachusetts certainly makes a difference for some small wineries,” Bledsoe said.
Massachusetts is currently one of 11 states with the wine delivery restriction, according to Bledsoe. He says the Commonwealth is the largest among the 11 in terms of wine consumption.
The bill is opposed by a group that represents liquor outlets in the state.
“It’s not meeting an unmet need,” said Roger Donoghue, legal counsel for the Massachusetts Package Store Association. “People have ample access to the get the wines and other products they want from the package stores.”
Direct shipments could hurt some package stores and be a public safety risk, Donoghue said, because it could be easier for people under 21 to buy online than at liquor stores where they must prove they are of legal age.
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