New York Industries Applaud State Legislature for Passage of Historic DTC Bill

The bill requires several consumer protections, including packaging that clearly identifies the contents, and mandatory adult signature and identification check by the driver upon delivery. (Adobe Stock photo)

The New York State Distillers Guild and the New York Cider Association are pleased to report that the State Legislature passed a bill that will allow their members to safely ship products to adult consumers (A3132-Lupardo/S2852-Skoufis). If enacted, the bill will authorize intrastate shipping as well as interstate shipping to states where direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping is legal and that have equivalent license classes. The bill now awaits signature by the Governor to be enacted into law.

As a NY Cider producer and a multi-generational apple farmer, I am thrilled to finally have the opportunity to connect directly with our customers,” said New York Cider Association President Jonathan Oakes, Steampunk Cider. “This will not only keep our agriculturally based NY Cider businesses alive but will allow them to thrive. This common sense legislation will allow us to build our brands and bring our full potential to the NY Cider scene and the craft beverage sector. Through this, NY Cider will become more valuable and we will be able to create more demand, therefore bolstering our partners in the retail and distribution space.”

He added that being able to build a marketspace via direct shipment creates an opportunity for Steampunk and other small agricultural businesses to maintain leadership status and expand the category of NY Cider into markets that have not existed before.

“This will encourage travel and tourism and allow us to continue to reach forward and fully embrace our place as The State of Cider,” Oakes said. “We are incredibly grateful to see the value of our work acknowledged and supported by our legislators in such a powerful way. This will truly impact all corners of the state.”

In a survey of NYS Distillers Guild members in April of this year, only half of respondents said they were confident they would still be in business at the end of 2025 absent regulatory or economic changes. The ability to ship their products directly to consumers is overwhelmingly what they said they need.

Distilleries and cideries both had temporary authority to ship DTC during the pandemic, and it allowed both sectors to show it could be done safely. That authority to ship to consumers helped many small craft beverage businesses survive the pandemic.

The vast majority of New York’s distilleries and cideries are too small to be represented in retail stores beyond their immediate vicinity and DTC will help them sell to out-of-town visitors who may not be able to carry a purchase home with them. It will also help those visitors buy more of the products once they return home.

“The potential our NY Cider growers and producers bring to this state’s agricultural and tourism economic landscape is huge,” said New York Cider Association Executive Director Scott Ramsey. “Having the ability to build their businesses and connect with their customers via direct shipment in a safe and meaningful way is critical if we want to see these businesses thrive and their potential fully realized.”

Ramsey pointed out that they have seen the value this has added to the state’s economy from the NY Wine industry for decades and is thrilled to know the vast majority of the legislators support the change.

“Most importantly, this bill will be invaluable for NY’s ownership of the craft beverage sector for all parties involved including retailers and distributors,” Ramsey said. “The New York Cider Association is extremely grateful for the leadership of Assemblywoman Lupardo, Senator Skoufis, along with Senator May and Assemblymembers Fahy, Stirpe and their teams for their unwavering support and their understanding of the value these farmers, growers, and producers bring to NY State. We have seen the same support from Governor Hochul on the value of NY’s craft beverage sector and look forward to her signature on this bill.”

The bill requires several consumer protections, including packaging that clearly identifies the contents, and mandatory adult signature and identification check by the driver upon delivery.  There are already systems in place with the national common carriers to facilitate compliance with this and other rules.

New York wineries have had the ability to ship DTC since 2005, prior to the establishment of the farm distillery and cidery licenses that have enabled the development of those craft beverages in the state.

Once Governor Hochul signs the bill, the State Liquor Authority will issue regulations guaranteeing the safe delivery of these products to consumers through the use of a common carrier like UPS. Amazon will not be involved with the delivery of these products.

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