Wine Retailers Assn. 'Pleased' with Court Reversal on Direct Shipping

Ohio's ban on wine shipments by out-of-state retailers to Ohio residents, originally prohibited when a lower court upheld the state statute, faces a more difficult time, now that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court decision and sent the case back for further evidence.

The state will be required to present concrete evidence that allowing out-of-state wine retailer shipments substantively damages the health and safety in a way that allowing shipping from in-state wine retailers and out of state wineries does not.

“The ban is especially pernicious and the necessary evidence of its health and safety benefits sparse because Ohio lawmakers have approved wine shipments to Ohio consumers from Ohio wineries, Ohio retailers, and out-of-state wineries. Only out-of-state retailers are prohibited from serving consumers in Ohio via direct shipments.

In its decision, the court said: “Plaintiffs provided an expert report from the Executive Director of the National Association of Wine Retailers detailing his opinion as to the practical effects of the Direct Ship Restriction on Ohio consumers.”

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