Kentucky Moves to (Slightly) Liberalize the Secondary Booze Market


As has covered in the past, the secondary market for alcohol remains heavily restricted in the United States. In fact, R Street has previously advocated for freeing up this market as a way of preventing sellers from turning to the black market. According to renown whiskey writer Chuck Cowdery, Kentucky recently enacted a Vintage Spirits Law that will at least slightly liberalize the secondary market for booze in the Bluegrass State:

"On January 1, Kentucky’s new ‘Vintage Spirits Law’ took effect. The new law (actually, revisions to the commonwealth’s existing alcoholic beverage statute) says, “A person holding a license to sell distilled spirits by the drink or by the package at retail may sell vintage distilled spirits purchased from a nonlicensed person upon written notice to the department in accordance with administrative regulations promulgated by the department.”

It further defines ‘vintage distilled spirit’ as “a package or packages of distilled spirits that are in their original manufacturer's unopened container; are not owned by a distillery; and are not otherwise available for purchase from a licensed wholesaler within the Commonwealth.”

As of the January 1 start date, ‘the department’ (i.e., the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Department [KABC]) had issued no administrative regulations or guidelines. As of now, what you see above is all the guidance there is. Retail license holders who want to take advantage of it will have to interpret the new law for themselves, with advice of counsel, of course...

Kentucky's new law is revolutionary in terms of bringing at least the ‘vintage’ part of the whiskey secondary market out of shadows. It could be a significant boon to tourism..."

Read the rest of the post here.