Nearly 160,000 bottles of wine shipped illegally to Michigan, down sharply after AG’s crackdown

More than a third of the alcohol shipped to Michigan in the first quarter of 2020 was shipped illegally. It may not seem like an obvious cause for celebration, but the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association raises its glass as the industry blocks the flow of illegal alcohol into the state.

The association saw a 78% drop in the number of illegal alcohol shipments in 2019 after compiling data from Michigan Liquor Control Commission carrier reports and state excise tax data. from Michigan.

Association President Spencer Nevins pays tribute to Attorney General Dana Nessel for his increased enforcement of illegal alcohol shipments. Lawsuits against out-of-state retailers caught illegally shipping wine to Michigan have cost tens of thousands of dollars. Nessel and the MLCC sent a clear message, Nevins said.

“Every bottle of liquor shipped illegally to our state hurts the small independent retailers who pride themselves on Michigan calling, paying taxes and giving back to their communities,” Nevins said.

State law prohibits out-of-state retailers from shipping wine to Michigan. Wineries should be authorized by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before they could legally ship wine directly to Michigan customers.

“The Commission will continue its vigorous enforcement efforts to protect Michigan businesses (retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers) from unfair competition,” said Michigan Liquor Control Commission Chairman Pat Gagliardi.

The MB & WWA began compiling data on illegal wine shipments entering Michigan in 2018. Data for two quarters of this year showed more than a million bottles of alcohol were shipped to Michigan in just six months and that at least 300,000 of those bottles have been illegally shipped from retailers across the state, according to a press release.

In 2019, more than 2.2 million bottles of alcohol were shipped within the state and of those bottles, 734,365 were shipped illegally.

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