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Legislation repealing wine container size limits sails through its second committee hearing

Bill would open the door to containers holding a dozen bottles of wine.

Legislation repealing size restrictions on wine containers sailed through its second committee Thursday. 

The bill, sponsored by Republican State Rep. Chip LaMarca of Lighthouse Point, is part of a slate of measures aimed at loosening regulations on alcohol and craft distilleries. Currently, state law prohibits selling more than a gallon of wine in a single container. 

LaMarca’s bill passed the House Commerce Committee two committee members opposing it. Democratic State Reps. Javier Fernández of South Miami and Matt Willhite of Wellington voted no. 

There’s several other similar bills filed this year that also remove size limitations for individual wine containers. Anthony Sabatini’s (HB 583) also does away with container size limitations on wine and cider, so does Key Largo Republican state Rep. Holly Raschein’s legislation (HB 1165), Sen. Jeff Brandes’ bill (SB 482) and Palm Coast Republican Sen. Travis Hutson’s bill (SB 138). 

Although LaMarca’s legislation only deals with wine containers, the other pieces of legislation also address craft distilleries

Sabatini’s, Brandes’, Raschein and Hutson’s legislation would also allow restaurant patrons to take home a partially consumed bottle of wine without having to eat a complete meal, including a salad or vegetable, entree, beverage and bread.

Sabatini’s bill also allows craft distilleries to increase the yearly maximum production threshold from 75,000 gallons to 250,000 and stay “craft.” It removes the limitations on the number of bottles per brand per consumer that may be sold in a year and permits distilleries to get a vendor’s license to sell alcohol on-site. His bill like the others, also allows distillers to ship to out-of-state customers.

Brandes and Raschein allow distilleries to do tastings. Their legislation and also allow production capacity of up to 250,000 gallons a year. 

Hutson’s bill raises production to 200,000 gallons. 

The Business and Professions Subcommittee, the bill’s first stop, reported LaMarca’s legislation favorably with a 13-0 vote.

Written By

Sarah Mueller has extensive experience covering public policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010. She began her career covering local government in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. She returned to school in 2016 to earn a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting. Since then, she’s worked in public radio covering state politics in Illinois, Florida and Delaware. If you'd like to contact her, send an email to sarah@floridapolitics.com.

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