Representative Adam Koenig, Interim Co-Chair of the Licensing and Occupations Committee, broke the bourbon barrier and made history today when he placed the first online order under the provisions of Kentucky’s new direct-to-consumer (DTC) alcoholic beverage shipping law.
Koenig sponsored legislation making this consumer-driven change possible during the 2020 Regular Session. The provisions of the bill, HB 415, allow Kentucky distilleries, wineries, and breweries to ship products to areas of the state that allow the sale of alcohol as well as other states with reciprocal laws. Koenig placed the order just minutes after the committee approved Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations to implement the bill.
“I am honored to be able to place the first order. Hitting ‘complete purchase’ symbolized so much more than buying a great bottle of bourbon. For Kentucky citizens, it means both convenience and expanded options to choose from,” Koenig said. “It is an extraordinary day for the men and women who work at our distilleries, wineries, and breweries as well as Kentuckians who want a bourbon or glass of wine with dinner.”
Under the provisions of HB 415, Kentucky-based producers can also ship products to other states if those states have reciprocal laws that allow products to be shipped there. The bill allows Kentucky retailers to take online orders and deliver directly to consumers. Out-of-state producers can also ship to Kentucky consumers if their respective state laws permit them to do so. Prior to HB 415, limited direct-to-consumer shipping is available but required an in-person transaction. That requirement is no longer necessary.
“This is bigger than Kentucky. We are now a national model for how to expand opportunities. These changes have been a long time coming but I think it is particularly meaningful that it is implemented now, after so many of these companies have stepped up to manufacture hand sanitizer and other products to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. They answered the call in a powerful way.”
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The new law also includes several provisions to ensure the proper collection of taxes and the state’s wet/dry laws still prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages in “dry” communities. To prevent sales to minors, ID checks are required at the point of sale and at delivery. All shipments also must be clearly marked as alcohol and require an adult to provide valid identification and a signature at delivery.
Koenig’s cosponsors included Speaker of the House David Osborne of Prospect, House Majority Whip Chad McCoy of Bardstown, Rep. Thomas Huff of Shepherdsville, Rep. Kevin Bratcher of Louisville, and Rep. Mark Hart of Cynthiana.
“Now that I have placed the order, I am definitely looking forward to raising a glass and toasting this new chapter in our state’s alcoholic beverage control laws,” Koenig added.