WWI successfully protected our industry from any new taxes or regulations being placed on the industry during the 2018 Legislative Session.
Delivered to the Governor
HB 2517: Concerning Penalties for Alcohol Manufacturers Who Have Committed Violations as Part of Their Ancillary Activities
HB 2517 protects every winery’s business model by separating any violations that happen in the retail side of the winery from the wholesale and manufacturing activities. The new law redefines retailing activities where manufacturers are interfacing with the public as “ancillary activities,” charges the Liquor & Cannabis Board with adopting a penalty schedule for violations incurred while performing ancillary activities, makes it clear that these penalties may not include the suspension or revocation of the winery license and thereby allows the winery to continue shipping and manufacturing wine in the event of a violation from a retail transaction.
HB 2699: Exempting Alcohol Manufacturers from the Food Storage Warehouse License
HB 2699 exempts alcohol manufacturers and distributers licensed under RCW 66.24 from the WSDA issued food storage warehouse license, removes a $200 annual cost on any winery storing wine offsite that is agreed between WSDA and the industry to not be necessary, and states that the exemption only applies if alcohol is the only product being stored in the warehouse.
SB 5251: Reigniting Statewide Tourism Marketing and Promotion
Until 2018, Washington State was the only state in the nation without a statewide tourism marketing effort. A large and passionate coalition of impacted industries, including WA wine, pushed for the past seven years to create a new approach that would stay in place when future state budget cuts take place (which is how we lost our first state tourism office in 2011). We are proud to be part of helping get SB 5251 to the Governor’s desk this year. The bill creates a private/public partnership that will reignite our statewide tourism marketing, installs a funding mechanism of a 2-to-1 private-to-public match, creates a new board of directors to collectively lead on Washington State’s tourism marketing decisions, and finally (and importantly for our industry) the bill has specific language that requires this new board to focus tourism marketing on rural economies, where many of our wineries are located.