Author Topic: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?  (Read 1151 times)

Offline Mikey

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Re: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2010, 06:51:48 PM »
Why a product, that happens naturally, was ever regulated and taxed by our government is beyond my comprehension.  Not to turn this political, but things like this and the right to protect ourselves, should never be regulated by any state or federal government. We live in a free society. Once again, way too many lawyers. Enough said.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 06:53:21 PM by Mikey »

Offline punatic

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Re: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2010, 07:42:35 PM »

P.S. I think we have successfully derailed the topic!   :o :P


Really?  Sorry if you think so.  I'm enjoying the exchange!

My partners and I have been researching internet, interstate beverage sales as part of a business plan for a commercial beverage production facility.  Visitors buy here while on vacation (stage one), reorder online from back home (stage two).  I'm trying to keep up with our legal partner. The Feds, State and County all have their hoops to jump through. That part fascinates me, but it's not my area of responsibility. Many States allow interstate sales and shipping, but the patchwork of local government regulations can drive one to drink one's own product.  We've had some great discussions after doing so.

As an engineer, systems operator, brewer, and beekeeper, process design is my responsibilty.  

But, it seems to me that Section 2 of the 21st Amendment is saying the Federal government, by repealing the 18th Amendment, is backing away from total prohibition of intoxicating liquors, leaving that authority to local jurisdictions; repeal of the 18th does not take away the power of local governments to have local prohibition. 

What part of that addresses passing different laws for local commerce versus interstate commerce? 

Aren't the Feds mostly interested in taxes when it comes to alcohol?
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 08:04:38 PM by punatic »
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2010, 08:04:33 PM »
That sounds like an interesting project!

I can imagine that navigating all the local regulation can be challenging. The irony if that is that the intent of the 21st Amendment was to maintain an effective and uniform system of controlling liquor!  Go figure.
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Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2010, 08:50:20 PM »
I have to apologize for not being able to do the due diligence of researching everything in as much detail as I'd like, the holidays get to be time consuming  >:(.  But why is there a difference between a brewery not in this state trucking a bunch of beer into the state, versus a company shipping the same beer to the same receiving company/person?  In this scenario I'm just trying to show that there are two different means of getting the same product to the same person.  I could understand there being some issues with ensuring legal drinking age if online ordering, but what else would make us say "no you have to drive your product to that person/company, not mail it". 

By the way this scenario assumes there are no differences between ordering online and placing a phone call.  If this assumption isn't correct please let me know. 

Thanks for helping a slow minded guy like me! 
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Offline punatic

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Re: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2010, 09:01:59 PM »
I have to apologize for not being able to do the due diligence of researching everything in as much detail as I'd like, the holidays get to be time consuming  >:(.  But why is there a difference between a brewery not in this state trucking a bunch of beer into the state, versus a company shipping the same beer to the same receiving company/person?  In this scenario I'm just trying to show that there are two different means of getting the same product to the same person.  I could understand there being some issues with ensuring legal drinking age if online ordering, but what else would make us say "no you have to drive your product to that person/company, not mail it". 

By the way this scenario assumes there are no differences between ordering online and placing a phone call.  If this assumption isn't correct please let me know. 

Thanks for helping a slow minded guy like me! 

I think it has to do with the 3-tier system.  The truckload is being transported from the producer to a wholesaler, while the shipping company is transporting directly from the producer to the consumer. 

Protection of wholesaler and retailer (more so the wholesaler) profit..

The music industry is going through a simular transition.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2010, 08:12:44 AM »
Punatic, I can't help but feel like we're still saying the same thing in different ways. My understanding of the Amendment is that it repealed the 18th Amendment, thereby granting back to the individual states the power to regulate importation, distribution, etc.  The regulatory authority of the states to do so before the enactment and ratification of the 18th Amendment was arguably established by the states' inherent authority to regulate commerce within their own borders as well as two federal Acts (Wilson and Webb-Kenyon). So, basically, the 21st Amendment reaffirms state regulatory authority, so long as it doesn't result in discriminatory conduct violative of the Commerce Clause. Isn't that essentially your understanding as well?

P.S. I have enjoyed the exchange. It's helped clarify the meaning of the 21st Amendment for me!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 08:48:09 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline punatic

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Re: US Supreme Court may consider online alcohol sales case?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2010, 11:16:10 AM »
Yes, you summed it up pretty well for me too.  My understanding of the current state of things (pun intended) is that interstate wine sales to the consumer cannot be outlawed by the States if intrastate direct wine sales to the consumer (via tasting rooms for instance) are allowed.  However the interstate shipper must comply with all regulatory requirements of the local jurisdiction.  

That's the rub for shippers; the patchwork of permits and licenses needed to ship to many different places.  It will take at least one full time employee to maintain compliance if a company has more than just a few states that it ships to.  I have no doubt that beverage wholesalers work hard to encourage the red tape, to protect their tier in the local market.

Wholesalers tend to promote their largest and most popular brands, and do little to market small craft brands.  If a small craft brand is required to sell to a wholesaler who does little to promote or service the small brand to retailers, the small brand is stuck doing that work too.  The three tier system sucks for everyone but the wholesalers. A craft brand sells for $30/bottle at retail.  They are probably selling it to the wholesaler for $10/bottle.  What service is provided to the producer or consumer for that $20/bottle markup?   What purpose do wholesalers serve?  Stock rotation in the retail store?  

In my younger days I worked as a wine and liquor salesman for a wholesale house.  The regulations are onerous.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 11:19:28 AM by punatic »
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