NJ legislators get time to change wine laws

From the Gloucester (NJ) County Times

A U.S. District Court judge has given New Jersey lawmakers a shot at salvaging profits for the state’s wine industry.

In December, a federal Court of Appeals ruled it unconstitutional to allow in-state wineries to sell directly to retailers and in tasting rooms while requiring wineries from other states to go through wholesalers.

(State) Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney backed a bill that would allow state wineries to keep their tasting rooms open and ship their products directly to consumers’ homes. The bill was not passed by the time lawmakers departed for their summer recess.

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan supports the tasting room business, but wants to require New Jersey wineries to work through distributors.

But, on Monday, Judge Katherine Hayden granted an administrative stay on the matter until March 31, 2012, following a request from the Attorney General’s office on behalf of all parties for a stay “based on their belief that the matter is best resolved through a legislative solution that addresses the constitutional infirmities found by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Assemblyman John Burzichelli said the stay is positive for the industry as a whole.

“It’s a very good thing,” he said, adding that he supports direct shipping. "That’s the 21st Century. In order for our vineyards to really compete in the global market, they have to be able to ship."

[Go here for the full story.]

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