by Anna Manning
Carolina Journal‘s John Trump reports:
The stack of bills from N.C. lawmakers looking to reform and modernize the state’s 80-year-old liquor laws is growing.
In the Senate, lawmakers filed Senate Bill 290 on Monday, March 18. A companion bill, House Bill 378, came Tuesday morning.
The measures would allow N.C. distilleries to sell malt beverages and unfortified and fortified wine, as well to sell mixed beverages. The moves would allow distilleries to sell spirits directly to consumers and would allow liquor tastings at state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission stores.
Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, and Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, have long been proponents of reforming the antiquated system and are among the sponsors of the most recent bills.
The latest measures would, maybe most important, allow distillers to, much like ABC stores, sell to consumers without the current five-bottle restriction, according to state and local laws. Under the new rules, distilleries could issue purchase-transportation permits for spirits. Those permits now must be approved by ABC officials.
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