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Montana Liquor Laws Get an Overhaul in October

beer and wine
Photo courtesy of allieatfood/Flickr

Stressed about all of the changes to healthcare that begin on October 1? Well, just relax and have a drink, because a host of Montana liquor laws will be changing as well on the very same day.

“We’ve got three laws taking effect,” said Montana Department of Revenue spokeswoman Mary Anne Dunwell. “The big one is the one that makes it easier for wine lovers to order wine directly from out-of-state wineries. We want to let consumers know about this new law because it eliminates a requirement that folks have had in the past to have what is called a connoisseur’s license.”

The law also allows wine buyers to purchase directly from one of Montana’s 18 in-state wineries in the same way. Dunwell said the licenses used to involve paperwork, taxes, and an up-front fee of around $50 ($100 for both beer and wine), those tasks will now be shifted to the wine producers. Another change in the law will allow new types of businesses.

“In the past, grocery stores and drugstores, if they wanted to sell beer or wine, had to sell groceries,” Dunwell said. “Now somebody can open up a business and just sell beer or wine, as long as it is for off premise consumption.”

A third change to the law will allow individuals to hold up to three liquor licenses instead of just one. This will allow an individual who operates businesses in multiple locations to be able to sell liquor in up to three of those locations provided they have purchased liquor licenses.

Mary Anne Dunwell:

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