Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced the creation of a statewide task force that will conduct a comprehensive review of the outdated laws governing Maryland’s alcohol industry.
The announcement of the “Reform On Tap” task force comes just hours after the conclusion of the Maryland General Assembly session that saw passage of legislation (House Bill 1283), which will severely restrict growth of the state’s thriving craft beer industry.
“The events of the 2017 legislative session are further confirmation that Maryland’s beer laws are antiquated, dysfunctional, anti-small business and anti-consumer,” said Comptroller Franchot, who made the announcement during a visit to Attaboy Beer, which opened in January as one of the newest entrants into Frederick’s flourishing craft beer community. “This task force will examine national practices, beer laws of neighboring states, and will study ways we can remove statutory impediments that hurt Maryland’s beer industry.”
Task force members will include craft brewers, consumers and other industry stakeholders. All meetings, which will be held across the state in the coming months, will be open to members of the press and the public. Marylanders will have opportunities to provide input at several town halls being scheduled and consumers are also encouraged to weigh in on the“Reform On Tap” Facebook page.
The task force will develop legislative proposals based on extensive review of other states’ laws, and feedback from industry stakeholders and the public, all with the goal of facilitating the growth and success of Maryland’s craft beer industry and other independent, locally-owned businesses.