House subcommittee votes to repeal wine bottle size limit

bottles of wine
State law limits the sale of wine to gallon containers.

Wine drinkers, rejoice.

On Monday, a House panel advanced legislation that would repeal a state law prohibiting the sale of wine in containers larger than a gallon. 

The House Regulatory Reform Subcommittee OK’d the bill (HB 6073) with a near-unanimous vote. Rep. Chip LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point Republican, is the bill sponsor. 

Currently, vendors who sell wine in a container larger than a gallon commit a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 maximum fine and 60 days in prison. 

Wright’s proposal, however, would allow the sale of wine in a container of any size. 

“This may have a positive fiscal impact on businesses that sell wine,” the House analysis reads. 

The bill will appear before the House Commerce Committee next. 

Sen. Jeff Brandes‘s companion bill (SB 142), meanwhile, is slated to appear before the Rules, Regulated Industries, and Commerce and Tourism committees. 

If signed into law, the proposals would take effect July 1. 

Notably, this isn’t LaMarca’s first crack at the gallon wine bottle. Last Session, he unsuccessfully filed to repeal the same law. 

That bill (HB 6037) died in the Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee. 

LaMarca’s latest proposal joins other bills also looking to rethink booze sales in the Sunshine State.

Sen. Jennifer Bradley and Rep. Josie Tomkow are sponsoring bills (SB 148/HB 329) that would allow Floridians to enjoy a cocktail-to-go. Those proposals have already cleared their first panels unanimously.

The flurry of booze-related-proposals comes after the Department of Business and Professional Regulation allowed bars and restaurants to sell drinks to go amid the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns.

The special permission, however, will end with Florida’s COVID-19 state of emergency.

Notably, some lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis are supportive of booze-to-go proposals. 

“I’m for it being permanent, and I think that you’ll probably get a pretty good reception in the Legislature just based on the experience and just based off everyone having to go through what you guys have gone through,” DeSantis said in September.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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