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House votes to loosen Louisiana alcohol, wine delivery rules

May 10, 2021 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Consumers could get wine shipped directly from manufacturers, under a bill that narrowly won passage Monday from the Louisiana House.

Current law prohibits wine manufacturers from shipping wine directly to a consumer unless that consumer makes the purchase in person at the winery, or unless the manufacturer doesn’t have a wholesale agreement to sell in the state through stores and other sites.

Rep. Joseph Orgeron, a Larose Republican, said 44 other states allow similar direct shipments of wine without such conditions. He said his proposal would increase consumer access.

Opponents suggest the change could damage wholesalers and the retailers that sell wine.

Lawmakers sent the proposal to the Senate with a 53-40 vote. That was exactly the number of votes it needed to pass.

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The vote was unanimous for a second alcohol measure that would let restaurants sell pre-packaged, pre-measured, “ready-to-drink” alcoholic beverages for delivery. Republican Rep. John Illg, of River Ridge, said the measure would help the state’s ailing restaurant industry. A 95-0 vote sent that bill to the Senate for debate.

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The bills are filed as House Bills 219 and 393.