Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry

Marc Sorini Marc Sorini

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Marc E. Sorini concentrates on issues facing the alcohol beverage industry, with a particular focus on the supplier tier and non-beverage alcohol users. He heads the Firm's Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Group and is recognized as one of the leading lawyers in his field. Read Marc Sorini's full bio.

Recent Retailer Direct Shipping Opinion Illustrates Stakes in Upcoming Supreme Court Review

By on Oct 1, 2018
Posted In Distribution, General Interest, Trade Practices

The recent US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan opinion strikes down a Michigan statue and authorizes out-of-state retailers to sell and ship wine directly to Michigan consumers. Lebamoff Enterprises v. Snyder, E.D. Mich. Case No. 17-10191 (Sept. 28, 2018). More fundamentally, the Lebamoff decision underscores the stakes in the upcoming (as of...

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US Supreme Court to Review State Residency Requirements

By and on Sep 28, 2018
Posted In Distribution, General Interest

The “final word” may be in sight in a long-running dispute over state residency requirements imposed on applicants for retail alcohol beverage licenses as well as more fundamental questions about state powers under the 21st Amendment. As anticipated last July in the Alcohol Law Advisor blog, a single sentence order of the US Supreme Court...

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Customs and Border Protection Interim Regulations for Refunds of Excise Taxes on Imported Beer, Wine and Spirits

By on Aug 15, 2018
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes, General Interest, Import/Export

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expects to publish tomorrow Interim Regulations authorizing the refund of beer, wine, and spirits excise taxes in connection with the 2017 tax reform act’s reduced rates and credits. The Interim Regulations specify: Claims must be filed with the National Revenue Center of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau...

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TTB Issues Guidance on Transfers of Beer between Breweries of Different Ownership

By on Jul 23, 2018
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes, Distribution, General Interest

Last week, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a TTB Procedure governing the transfer in bond of beer between breweries of different ownership. See TTB Procedure 2018-1 (July 17, 2018). In bond transfers between breweries of different ownership were authorized by the 2017 tax reform act and like many provisions of...

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Son of Granholm Inches Closer

By on Jul 2, 2018
Posted In Distribution, General Interest, Trade Practices

Two recent developments reinforce my expectation that the Supreme Court will need to clarify the scope of its 2005 Granholm v. Heald decision within the next few years. Granholm struck down state restrictions on the interstate sale and shipment of wine by wineries, where the state permitted in-state wineries to engage in such direct-to-consumer sales...

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CBP Issues Guidance on Alcohol Excise Tax Provisions

By on Jun 28, 2018
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes, Import/Export

Yesterday, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) issued Guidance on the alcohol excise tax provisions contained in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (Tax Act). Key points Importers must continue to pay the full excise tax rate (not the rates reduced by the Tax Act’s lower rates or credits) upon importation. CBP and TTB are working on...

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California Court of Appeal Holds That “Safe Harbor” Defense Precludes Suit Based on Presence of Inorganic Arsenic in Wines

By on Jun 1, 2018
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Food Safety and FDA

Last month, the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Four, issued an opinion in Charles v. Sutter Home Winery, Inc. (2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 418*; 2018 WL 2126987). The court considered the Plaintiffs’ appeal of their dismissed putative class action complaint brought under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of...

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Five Issues That Impact Craft Brewers

By on May 31, 2018
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Alcohol Excise Taxes, Distribution, Legislation, Trade Practices

In an article published by The New Brewer, Marc Sorini discusses five issues most likely to have a meaningful impact on craft brewers in the coming years, including: The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act’s (CBMTRA) new tiered excise tax rate structure, its extending benefits to foreign producers, and its authorization for brewers to...

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USDA Publishes Proposed GMO Labeling Regulations

By on May 14, 2018
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Food Safety and FDA, General Interest, Legislation

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published a proposed rule containing regulations to implement the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard mandated by Congress in 2016. See 83 Fed. Reg. 19860 (May 4, 2018). The proposed regulations would govern the labeling of raw agricultural products and packaged foods whose labeling...

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District Court Dismisses Pending Trade Practice Case, With Leave to Amend

By on Apr 23, 2018
Posted In Distribution, Trade Practices

This month, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an opinion in Arena Restaurant and Lounge, Inc. v. Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, No. 17-CV-03805-LHK. The Arena case, also called Nguyen after its original named Plaintiff, seeks to certify a class action against Southern Glazer’s for a wide range of...

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