New law will mean more jobs and money for Kentucky once alcohol shipments can begin, Rep. Koenig says

Kentuckians can soon get alcohol shipped to their home from in and out of state producers under a new bill passed by lawmakers during the 2020 session.

House Bill 415, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, allows producers to ship wine, spirits, and beer directly to consumers.

In an interview with The Bottom Line, Koenig noted it was a long road for Kentucky to get to this point with alcohol shipment.

“Before this law passed, only the Kentucky’s small farm wineries were allowed to ship and a Kentuckian could not legally ship in wine from Napa Valley or any other type of delivery,” Koenig said.

After a similar effort by the State Senate limited to wine shipment came up short in 2019, Koenig said he decided to expand that idea to all alcohol.

“We are known as the bourbon state here, and I thought we needed a level playing field for all alcohol,” Koenig said.

Koenig’s bill, which became law on July 15, allows for all producers to ship to homes in and out of the state with a limit of ten cases per month.

While the bill is already law, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is still working on the regulations that will provide the framework for shipment.

Koenig noted a producer can’t ship without a license and no one can get a license until the regulations go through the process. And while he stated it is a long process to get the regulations in place, he is hoping to see these shipments start happening by the end of the year.

As Kentucky continues to struggle with it budget, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Koenig said this new law will certainly bring in new revenue to the state.

“We don’t know exactly how much it is going to bring in but we know it is going to be more than we are making right now. And that’s direct money,” Koenig said. “You add in the fact that we are opening up Kentucky alcohol to the rest of the world and those opportunities will create jobs. Probably mostly in the bourbon industry but certainly additional purchases for wine, additional purchases for our brewers, for those that have such a good product that someone is willing to ship it to wherever they are. So, I think it will provide a lot of new jobs which will indirectly provide a lot of revenue not just to the state but to the locals.”

Watch the full interview with Koenig below to hear more about what’s in the bill including safeguards and much more here:

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