Regulations to Protect Businesses that use Alcohol Warehouses

H.3450 would mandate that no beer, wine, or liquor wholesaler deliver any of these alcoholic beverages to an alcohol retailer until they have been “received unloaded, and stored or warehoused at its licensed premises”. The bill establishes fines for failure to follow the new law and a wholesaler may even have their license revoked for repeat offenses.

There isn’t a compelling safety reason to require warehousing of alcoholic beverages especially when the required warehousing time (as in this bill) is only 24 hours. The bill appears to be little more than a thinly veiled attempt to protect businesses that use warehouses to store alcohol (large wholesalers) at the expense of their competitors (smaller wholesalers). Requiring all wholesalers to  warehouse alcoholic beverages prior to delivery will raise their costs, slow their distribution process, and generally hurt their competitive position.

South Carolina made some favorable progress towards removing unnecessary alcohol sales regulations with the passage of last year’s “stone bill”. Evidently lawmakers feel they must make up for this progress with new regulations.

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