In 1969, Neil Armstrong captured world attention with his momentous walk on the moon. The Legislature recently took its own step by passing wine reform legislation, opening up competition in the Arizona wine market. That's one small step for wine consumers, one giant leap for economic liberty.
The new law is a smart response to a pending federal lawsuit against the state. In that action, Black Star Farms of Michigan claims that Arizona law discriminates against out of state wineries in violation of the U.S. Constitution. In a preemptive strike, the legislature decided to open up the market.
Wineries producing less than 20,000 gallons of wine a year may now bypass state requirements to sell wine through wholesalers. This means that small wineries across the U.S. may now sell their wines directly to Arizona consumers.
Arizonans should celebrate this small step forward, but the Legislature can go further. Every winery should enjoy equal footing under the law and be able to ship directly to consumers regardless of how much wine they produce.
Benjamin Barr is a constitutional policy analyst with the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Studies.
- Arizona Republic: "Napolitano signs wine bill to allow shipments"
-United States Supreme Court: Granholm v. Heald
- Black Star Farms v. Morrison: Amended Complaint
- Black Star Farms v. Morrison: Answer