Wine DTC shipping has been allowed in the state for more than a decade

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) testified and submitted a letter of support to the Joint Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs today during a hearing on LD 1695 which would allow spirits direct-to-consumer shipping in Maine.

Andy Deloney, senior vice president and head of state public policy at DISCUS, noted in the letter that a modern spirits marketplace would allow residents to buy the products they want, in the way they want, while allowing smart regulation to ensure responsible delivery.

“For more than a decade, Mainers have enjoyed DTC shipping of wine,” Deloney stated in the letter. “Now, consumers expect and want direct-to-consumer shipping of distilled spirits. It’s time for the marketplace to meet what consumers are seeking. The increased demand for consumer convenience and choice, additional support for distillers, and responsibility measures already in place to prevent illegal purchases all highlight the reasons Maine should adopt measures allowing direct-to-consumer shipping.”

During his testimony, Deloney noted allowing spirits DTC would benefit consumers, distillers, the state of Maine and the spirits industry as a whole. He also cited a DISCUS survey that showed 80% of consumers believe distillers should be allowed to direct ship spirits.

“DTC would foster growth in the spirits industry which already contributes 6,300 jobs and more than $680 million in economic impact in Maine,” said Deloney. “Consumers want the ability to choose limited-release products, specialty products not widely distributed nationwide and club offerings, or to ship products home from a distillery visit. DTC shipping also provides additional market access channels for distillers to connect with their consumers where they are, and the state would benefit from additional licensing fees and new tax revenue on every sale made in Maine.”

Wine has been shipped for more than a decade in Maine, and during that time, wholesale jobs in Maine grew by more than 24%.  Liquor store jobs grew by 61% during the same period.

“DTC shipping serves as an on-ramp for small distillers by allowing tasting experiences and organic brand building – creating a cost-effective way to generate the kind of attention that is critical for partnering with the state and its agency stores,” said Deloney.

Deloney also noted that just as IDs are required for any alcohol purchase, ID checks are required in order for the recipient to accept an alcohol delivery. Additionally, under the Common Carrier provisions of LD 1695, an adult signature is required.