Sell, but Don't Tell


Last June, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bans on direct shipments to consumers by out-of-state wineries were an unconstitutional barrier to interstate commerce, the Minnesota legislature changed state law to allow such shipments. Yet it retained Minnesota's prohibition of Internet sales and advertising by wineries. The upshot is that wineries are free to sell directly to consumers, but they can't do it or talk about it online, a crippling restriction for small operations without local distributors. The Institute for Justice, which filed one of the lawsuits that led to the Supreme Court decision, is challenging Minnesota's advertising and sales restrictions, which apply to both in-state and out-of-state wineries but not to liquor stores, as a violation of vintners' rights to free speech and equal protection.

NEXT: The Method to Meth Madness

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Good luck enforcing that law against out of state vinters’.

  2. Sounds like a case of sour grapes to me.

    (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

  3. I think PA just passed a law that prohibits people from receiving shipments of wine at their homes; we have to have it shipped to the “State Store” and pick it up there. We have some of the stupidest liquor laws here.

  4. All to protect the children, I’m sure

  5. Hmm…I never lived in Minnesota so I’m not sure about the goals of this particular state sponsored legislation.

    Is this action some sort of statewide protectionism to give an advantage to local wine producers; some kind of religious statement; a fear of underage drinking (er..and the internet)?..or all of the above?

    Just curious..

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.