TRENTON – Sponsors of the small-wineries bill praised the signing of the law as a boon to agricultural and small businesses in New Jersey.
The bill, which was the subject of a great deal of amendments on the final day of the legislative session, was the last bill voted on late Jan. 9.
“This is a great day for the New Jersey wine industry and for our economy in general,” said Senate President and sponsor Steve Sweeney. “New Jersey’s wines are now considered among some of the best in the nation, but rules and regulations had suffocated the industry for far too long. That will all now change. Most importantly, this will spur the kind of economic growth we sorely need in the state right now.”
However, bill opponents argued that this bill actually will hurt the economy by allowing small wineries to bypass the traditional wholesaler to retailer to customer conduit.
In order to protect businesses, some lawmakers fought for amendments that among other things would limit the number of outlets and require the wineries to provide their own shipping infrastructure.
One of the Assembly sponsors, John Burzichelli, (D-3), Paulsboro, said in a release that “”This law balances the modern needs of our wine industry with the need of liquor stores and distributors and positions both for even more economic, job-creating success.”