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The Maryland 2024 Legislative Session

As the next General Assembly session nears, those who fight the good fight for the beverage industry in Annapolis will be focused squarely on two threats. The first is any legislation that seeks to allow beer and wine sales in supermarkets and chain stores. The Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA) has opposed such bills for decades and will continue to do so in 2024.

MSLBA Legislative co-Chair David Marberger of Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis remarks, “The fact that grocery stores are still not selling alcohol is always going to be a big victory . . . as long as that’s a true statement! Sometimes there are different angles from our opposition on that. For us, at the end of the day, there is really no good way for that to be presented. Period! Every year that it goes by that it doesn’t get passed, we consider it a win. We also know that, with that win, comes another attempt the following year. It is a short-lived ‘Hurrah!’ for us, because it’s a perpetual thing. You can never rest on your laurels. We, as retailers, always have to stay focused and paying attention. And we always have to keep communicating with our legislators. You have to let them know who we are and what we do.”

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Your Livelihood Depends on It

As the Maryland General Assembly prepares to convene on January 10th, the imminent introduction of legislation allowing chain stores and supermarkets to obtain retail liquor licenses, along with another potential extension of direct shipment privileges by Maryland manufacturers (originaly introduced during COVID-19) are sure to be in the legislative hopper. On page 8, Beverage Journal staff writer, Teddy Durgin, interviews industry insiders to provide insights on what to expect and how to counteract these potential challenges.

To navigate this legislative landscape effectively, consider the following 'How-To' guide on political involvement and influence:

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