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August 2021 Editions


Retail and restaurant purchasing may be normalizing, but the way buyers interact with importer and distributor reps has changed for good

By Scott Rosenbaum

In recent years, many importer and distributor sales representatives have begun to suspect that tired methods of selling wine and spirits needed to better adapt to the demands of the 21st century, but the past year has accelerated that shift.  

The subtle changes were almost imperceptible. After all, the end result was the same: a sale to a restaurant, bar, or retailer. 

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A great reopening is underway here in Maryland. The on-premise side of the industry has taken punch after punch since the onset of COVID-19.  With restrictions lifting, restaurant and bar proprietors face many obstacles on the road 'back to normal'.  Restrictions are being lifted and people are once again venturing out to stores and entertainment, attending live events, and (of course) eating and drinking out.

Ellicott City has been part of this comeback, but that’s no surprise. The historic district of this Howard County suburb has been in comeback mode for several years now, having weathered the devastating effects of not one, but two deadly and destructive floods that happened pre-pandemic.

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Cannabis cultivation creates resource competition and could threaten tourism in wine country—but some argue that proper regulation could benefit premier regions 

By Mark Stock

The West Coast wine industry can adapt—we’ve seen it do so in response to wildfires, drought, even a pandemic. But can it handle having a new crop for a neighbor?

Cannabis farms are on the rise in and around many appellations of wine-centric states like California and Oregon; according to BDS Analytics, a Boulder, Colorado-based cannabinoid research firm, legal cannabis sales in California increased by $586 million in 2020, and the Oregon market expanded by 39 percent. They’re the expected byproduct of recent legalization and a flourishing U.S. industry, one that totaled over $17.5 billion in 2020 alone—and that’s just the legal sector. 

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