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Bill Would Allow Bourbon to Be Sent by Mail

A measure that would allow direct shipment of alcoholic beverages received final passage Monday in the state Senate and is on its way to the governor to be signed into law.

The measure, known as House Bill 400, is an economic development and tourism bill, said Sen. John Schickel (R-Union), who presented the measure in the Senate today.

“As our Kentucky bourbon industry experience continues to grow and become more of a Napa Valley-type experience with more than 1.2 million visitors last year alone, the No. 1 question asked by visitors that come to our commonwealth is why can’t they have these items shipped directly home?” he said.

HB 400 would address this by allowing visitors at bourbon distilleries to ship limited amounts of spirits home as well as join bourbon of the month clubs, Schickel said. HB 400 would also permit vineyards to ship specific amounts of wine out of state.

Another provision would allow liquor stores to ship a limited amount of spirits purchased from their shops. In addition, it would also require the shippers of the spirits to verify the delivery is made to someone at least 21 years old living in a “wet” area.

“House Bill 400 is another important step on removing artificial barriers to free enterprise,” said Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown). “It is another step in unraveling the overly obtrusive post-Prohibition alcohol laws that have been in place in Kentucky for over a half-century.”

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chad McCoy, R-Bardstown, passed the Senate on a 33-5 vote.

HB 400 contains an emergency clause, meaning it would become law upon the governor’s signature.

From the Legislative Research Commission

Photo: Sen. John Schickel (via LRC)