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Wine Law Reform, Privatization, Social Media

Some interesting stories in the news this past week related to liquor and wine laws:

Liquor Law Reform in Canada. Two Canadian provinces announced substantial liquor law reforms and modernization this week. Manitoba introduced a suite of liquor law reforms: see Province Removing Red Tape in Alcohol Sales and the Government Press Release. Saskatchewan has also brought into effect a number of wide ranging reforms announced earlier: see New Rules for Liquor Sales in Saskatchewan and the Press Release, as well as previously announcing that all new liquor stores in the province will be private ones.  

Privatization. The privatization debate continues to rage south of the border in Pennsylvania, which is one of the last U.S. states to have a "Canadian style" liquor control system. The State Governor is trying to pass a privatization bill which is currently under review by the State Senate. Here are a couple of interesting articles: The CDC Goes to War Against Wine (in which Forbes magazine challenges "academic" findings that state control systems produce less public harm from alcohol than private ones) and Facts Contradict Claims of Liquor Monopoly Supporters.

Social Media. The U.S. Alcohol Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) which partly regulates the wine industry at the federal level has issued guidelines for wineries who are using social media: see Feds Put New Rules on Wineries Using Social Media and the TTB Bulletin.  

Finally, of course, BC's election on Tuesday produced the fourth consecutive BC Liberal majority government (to the surprise of many pollsters and pundits). Hopefully, the minister responsible for liquor, Rich Coleman (or whoever is appointed as the new minister), will continue with the past year's progress on liquor law modernization for the province. As noted earlier, BC's Liquor Distribution Branch already has a new general manager, Blain Lawson, and the Licensing Branch will also gain a new general manager shortly following the retirement at the end of June of current manager, Karen Ayers.