TRENTON, N.J. – An Assembly panel on Monday advanced legislation removing a production cap that currently limits wineries that can ship directly to New Jersey customers.
The bill (A1943), sponsored by Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso and Assemblyman Rob Clifton, eliminates current restrictions that prevent wineries producing more than 250,000 gallons – about 95% of the market – from shipping to New Jersey residents.
“We are one of only two states that have such a law limiting the wine residents are allowed to have delivered to their home. Once again, New Jersey is an outlier and it’s hurting consumers and our state’s hard-hit economy,” DiMaso (R-Monmouth) said. “We shouldn’t miss out on millions in revenue because of a flawed law.”
The Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University published a revenue estimate in April of 2017 arguing the bill would result in revenues of $7.4 million, or an increase of 123% percent.
“As more people shopped online during the pandemic, direct wine sales increased significantly. New Jersey needs to recognize this opportunity to increase revenues and the preferred buying habits of consumers,” Clifton (R-Monmouth) said. “We should be supporting consumer choice, small wineries that are owned by larger labels, and economic recovery.”
According to a Nielsen study, the coronavirus and government-related shutdowns contributed to online alcohol sales growing by 243%.
The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.