Post Content

Effective January 1, 2015, Massachusetts will become the 41st state to allow direct wine shipments from large out-of-state wineries.  Massachusetts General Law 138, section 19F was amended by St.2014, c.165, s.162 (H294) to include language allowing shipment of 12 cases per year per purchaser containing not more than 9 liters of wine per case.

Other changes include requiring wineries to obtain state-issued “direct wine shipping licenses,” requiring delivery trucks to obtain a permit to transport alcohol, and requiring a signature from a person of legal drinking age upon accepting deliveries.

This change has taken several years to accomplish:

  • MGL c.138, s.19F was enacted over the veto of  Governor Mitt Romney and became effective in February 2006. This law significantly limits the ability of wineries to ship to Massachusetts.
  • In November  2008, the Federal District Court ruled that MGL c. 138, s. 19F  discriminated against interstate commerce in violation of the of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
  • In January 2010, the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, 592 F.3d 1 (2010).  The court said that the law was unconstitutional because “the effect of [s.19F]’s particular gallonage cap is to change the competitive balance between in-state and out-of-state wineries in a way that benefits Massachusetts’s wineries and significantly burdens out-of-state competitors.”
  • In the intervening years, bills have been introduced, but none have passed. Finally, in June 2014, the budget sent to the Governor included the new language on direct shipping of wine, and the Governor signed the law on July 11, 2014. The new law becomes effective on January 1, 2015.







Written By:

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

New Law Gives Added Protections for Persons with Disabilities posted on Feb 20

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a new law on February 13, 2020 which gives more protections to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  Chapter 19 of the Acts of 2020 establishes a registry for caretakers in Massachusetts who have been found to have caused serious physical   …Continue Reading New Law Gives Added Protections for Persons with Disabilities

Real Estate Recording Fees to be Increased posted on Dec 10

Under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44B section 8,  real property conveyance documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds are subject to a Community Preservation Act surcharge.  This law was amended by chapter 41 sections 29 and 30 of the Acts of 2019.  Effective December 31,   …Continue Reading Real Estate Recording Fees to be Increased

Portraits in Massachusetts Law: Lucy Stone posted on Nov 13

Portraits in Massachusetts Law: Lucy Stone

Portraits in Massachusetts Law is a regular feature of Massachusetts Law Updates. These pages provide links to biographical information abut people who have been particularly important in legal history in Massachusetts, as our government took shape in the cauldron of the American Revolution and grew and changed throughout   …Continue Reading Portraits in Massachusetts Law: Lucy Stone