A bill being weighed by a State House committee would allow Missouri companies that make distilled spirits to ship their products directly to customers’ homes.

Current state law allows licensed wine producers to ship up to two cases of wine per month directly to Missouri customers. The bill sponsored by State Rep. Jeff Knight, R-Lebanon, would allow Missouri makers of bourbon, vodka, and other distilled spirts to do the same. Don Gosen, co-owner of Copper Mule Distillery in Hermann, testified in favor of the bill during a public hearing Tuesday at the Missouri Capitol.

“We want to do what the wineries have been doing for 35 years in Missouri,” Gosen said. “We have the right to sell our product in our gift shop. When someone comes in to visit – a tourist – and they live in, say Colorado, we want the ability to then follow up and ship to that state as long as it’s legal for us to ship into Colorado.”

Opponents argued that there are already too many problems with wine shipments to homes being accepted by minors in the household instead of adults, and that allowing distilled spirits to be shipped to homes would make a bad problem worse. Robert Pagano represents Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, which distributes alcoholic beverages throughout most of the U.S. and Canada. He testified against the bill during the public hearing.

“A large percentage of the current wine shippers are not shipping in compliance with the current regulations,” he said. “To add spirits to direct shipping in Missouri is not advised.”

Knight, the sponsor, told the committee that conversations with all parties involved have been going on to address any concerns and that a revised version of the bill will likely be introduced at the next meeting of the House Special Committee on Small Business.

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