I had the pleasure of writing a guest post at Hinman and Carmichael’s Booze Rules blog called Michigan: Canary in the DtC Coal Mine? I hope you can check it out and let me know your thoughts.
To me, the timeline that I outlined at the top of the piece was a very interesting confluence of events. The fact that Michigan got sued for a third time on DtC legislation is pretty fascinating on it’s own. However what’s really interesting to me is that the events in Michigan followed almost exactly the events that occurred shortly before in Illinois.
Illinois wholesalers had taken matters into their own hands, and then forced more involvement by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. That was followed by much more restrictive legislation (including potential felony penalties), which led to a lawsuit against the state. Sound familiar?
So, is this a pattern? Should we expect similar events to play out in additional states? It seems like it. As we speak, Minnesota is considering similarly restrictive legislation. Wineries, retailers, third party providers, and fulfillment houses that operate in the DtC wine world should be sure to stay on top of all of these changes and step up their compliance game.
In Michigan, the legislation seemed to be enabled significantly by the “Wine Direct Shipping Research and Analysis” report out out by the Michigan wholesalers. I’d like to take a closer look at this report in a future post. Some of the methodology, assumptions, and conclusions in the report need a closer review in my opinion.
Check out the piece and let me know what you think!