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There are several reports in the media about the possibility that two states could try to avoid the out-of-state direct wine shipments that were made possible this week by a US Supreme Court ruling saying that states couldn’t allow in-state shipments but ban out-of-state shipments.

In these states – Michigan and Illinois – there are moves being made to make newly illegal the in-state shipments that have long been permissible.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that in Illinois, the impetus is being provided by the state's powerful alcohol-distribution lobbies. "It's important . . . for Illinois to regain control of this industry," Bill Olson, president of the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, tells the paper, which says that “the group is worried the thinking behind the winery ruling might ultimately be extended to beer, allowing unlimited direct shipping sales from breweries to customers without going through distributors.”

This single organization gave $700,000 to various politicians during last year’s elections. It argues that the new ruling could create a situation in which the state will lose tax revenue and teenagers will be able to order booze illegally.

The other argument, of course, is that Illinois has a growing wine industry – and the Supreme Court ruling could make it possible for those businesses to export their wines to other states to an extent not before possible.

According to various press reports, the Michigan Liquor Control ask state lawmakers to ban all in-state as well as out-of-state shipments of wine. "There shouldn't be any shipment of wine or any other alcohol product through the Internet, the mail or any other form," said the organization’s chairwoman, Nida Samona. "It should be purchased directly, face-to-face.”

Michigan has a three-tiered liquor control system that requires customers to purchase liquor from licensed instate retailers who purchase from licensed wholesalers who purchase from licensed manufacturers.
KC's View:
If the concern is about minors being able to illegally acquire alcohol, we certainly respect the point of view, and think that it is important to create a system that makes this difficult.

But we have a feeling that there is something else going on here. We think this is all about certain parties trying to cover their economic rear-ends. This seems like it is more about money than minors.

And consumers won’t perceive this as being a legitimate objection.