By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The direct shipment of alcohol in and out of Kentucky by consumers would be legalized for the first time under a proposal discussed Wednesday in the House Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee.
House Bill 415, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, was presented for discussion only and testimony was heard from many groups supporting and opposing the bill.
Under HB 415, Kentuckians could have alcohol shipped to their homes. Packaging of alcohol shipments would have to be labeled to clearly identify the contents of the box. An ID check and signature would be required to accept the shipment.
Koenig said he has been working on the bill language with numerous stakeholders over the interim and that the bill would remove artificial barriers to competition while maintaining a three-tiered system with regard to alcohol sales. He added the legislation also would ensure alcohol is only shipped to territories where it is lawful and would impose a 15 percent fee on the seller for incoming shipments.
A bill passed earlier in the 2020 session made the shipment of wine legal, and HB 415 would expand on that by including other forms of alcohol, including spirits. Koenig said Kentucky consumers want the ability to receive these types of shipments as many states already allow.
Groups against the bill expressed concerns about the impact it could have on retailers in the state if individuals are able to receive alcohol shipments to their homes and don’t have to physically go to a store to make a purchase. They also said the bill would make retailers compete with producers who are able to sell at a lower price.
Others said the legislation would “open the flood gates” with no clear way to keep Kentucky citizens safe and voiced fears about underaged individuals being able to access alcohol under this proposal.
Discussion on HB 415 is expected to continue in another meeting of the House Licensing and Occupations Committee next week.