Weekly Digest | Supreme Court TN Wine Case Verdict, New COLAs Online Feature, Canada Bill Opens Province Borders

June 27, 2019

It’s been a remarkable week in beverage alcohol compliance news! In this week’s digest, we highlight several analyses of the Supreme Court ruling in the Tennessee Wine case. In other news, TTB is adding a new feature to their Online COLAs which will streamline the approval process, and Canada passed a bill that could free up wine shipping between provinces. 

Supreme Court Rules on Highly Anticipated Tennessee Wine Case

The verdict for the Tennessee Wine case has finally arrived. Justice Alito delivered the 7-2 opinion, which struck down Tennessee’s two-year residency requirement. Many think that this decision is a big win for wine consumers, free trade, and fine wine retailers.

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Residency Law; Opens Door for Retailer Shipping Challenges

Yesterday’s Supreme Court verdict claims that Tennessee law in question exists only for economic protectionism and is therefore unconstitutional. This interpretation opens the door for future challenges to discriminatory state alcohol laws, notably concerning retailer direct to consumer wine shipping.

Supreme Court Decision is a Victory for Alcohol Beverage Retailers

Before yesterday’s Supreme Court verdict, many hoped that the Court would issue a ruling that would address the residency requirement question and open the door to retailer direct-to-consumer shipping. Now that the decision has been made attention will now shift to other cases directly challenging laws that prohibit out-of-state retailers from shipping to in-state consumers.

Coming Soon: New Conditionally Approved Status in COLAs Online

COLAs Online is launching a new feature. The additional “Conditionally Approved” status will further streamline the label approval process. Previously, applications would be denied if the information entered was not consistent with the label submitted in the application. The new feature allows TTB to propose changes.

Wine Set to Flow Freely Between Canada’s Provinces 

Canadian wineries can take a sigh of relief. An omnibus bill that passed on June 21st has opened up Canada’s interprovincial borders to wine shipping. There is still some work to be done but many industry members see this development as a major step forward.

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