Weekly Digest | TTB Enforcement & Permit Penalties, AL DTC, CBMA, CBD in Alcoholic Beverages
May 3, 2019
By Melani Meister, Sales Manager
In this week’s digest, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) increases the volume on their rule enforcement and a former TTB Chief Counsel warns the industry of permit holder penalties for unreported changes. Two bills were introduced that could open up Alabama for direct-to-consumer winery shipping and there is high anticipation around what will happen with the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Lastly, TTB outlines their position on alcoholic beverages containing ingredients derived from hemp.
Don’t expect a simple slap on the wrist from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) if you break the rules. TTB is aggressively stepping up with harsh consequences that the beverage alcohol industry hasn’t witnessed in the past.
Robert M. Tobiassen, former Chief Counsel for TTB, speaks of TTB’s extortion of penalties when a permit holder changes and the modification goes unreported. Changes can stem from a death or corporate operation of law and must be reported within thirty days.
Alabama is one of the last states standing that prohibits direct winery-to-consumer shipments. Two new bills introduced in April could change everything. Wine-shipping advocates are encouraged to contact their legislators in support of Senate Bill 274 and House Bill 350.
If the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMA) expires at the end of 2019 without being renewed, it could create a domino effect for the entire alcohol industry and cost millions for individual producers. On the flipside, if made permanent the Act would translate into millions of dollars of savings and lead to new jobs and benefits for workers.
TTB recently published an Industry Circular that addresses alcoholic beverages infused with hemp-derived ingredients such as CBD. Since the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 excluded hemp from their marijuana definition, TTB is clearing the air and outlining what their position is on the matter. The short answer is no.