by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
JLF’s Jon Sanders published a research brief last week on how North Carolina’s regulatory climate is inhibiting the growth of distilleries in North Carolina. According to Sanders, North Carolina distilleries have been slower to return to operation than in other states since the end of Prohibition. Sanders explains:
It seems strange, considering that before state prohibition North Carolina was the nation’s leader in distilleries. The reason is quite simple, however: distilleries face a much stricter regulatory climate here than wineries and breweries.
Sanders’ brief pulls data from his recent two–part report on North Carolina alcohol restrictions. In this piece, he focuses on how North Carolina’s restrictions compare to other states. For instance, Sanders cited North Carolina as one of only eight states that prohibits happy hours.
Sanders notes that some ideas that have been presented in the General Assembly could potentially make serious improvements to the state’s overly burdensome and outdated regulatory regime. These measures include allowing distilleries to:
Hold tastings at ABC stores
Receive ABC permits to sell beer, wine, and mixed drinks on premises
Sell bottles to distillery visitors without limiting them to no more than five bottles in a 12-month period
Self-distribute to mixed-beverage permittees and out-of-state consumers