On this blog, I discussed how we need to question government’s role in the alcohol industry. Specifically, we need to question when government operates in one of the three tiers.
We have seen the debacle of government running the liquor distribution system, https://irishliquorlawyer.com/has-michigan-lost-complete-control-of-its-liquor-system/, and we must question whether it is good policy for the state to become the sole retail source of liquor.
But legislation being proposed in New Hampshire could lead to a terrible precedent for government interference in the liquor industry.
Senate Bill 411 would allow the “liquor commission to register a trade name with the secretary of state to operate as a direct shipper of wine.”
Under New Hampshire Direct Shipper’s Application, one can receive a permit if it holds a license from the state of domicile as an alcohol manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, or retailer.
What provides cause for concern is the New Hampshire legislation desires to register a trade name, which means it could register as a manufacturer of product.
Under its current system New Hampshire operates as a wholesaler of wine and spirits, and is the sole retailer for spirits. https://www.nabca.org/sites/default/files/assets/files/NH_Final_12_19.pdf.
If the proposed legislation, passes and is signed into law, New Hampshire could effectively operate on all three-tier. I assume the drafters thought of the tied-house implications.
New Hampshire needs to clarify what this legislation means and whether the government would become involved in all three tiers.
If this becomes the case, New Hampshire needs to explain to businesses who lost their liquor license based on tier violations, why the state being part of all three tiers is permissible. https://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180531/post-prohibition-era-law-forces-hampton-brewery-to-close
Time will tell what happens, the Bill passed the Senate and is in House Committee. The language of the bill is short and vague and the state owes the public an explanation of what it all means.
And if it becomes law, a government could control all three-tiers. Essentially, obliterating any tied-house concerns.