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May 2021 Editions


Richard Fisher has been a beer, wine, and spirits man ever since he went to work part-time at The Liquor Pump in Parkville. That was 1985. While at The Liquor Pump, Fisher soon discovered he had a real head for the packaged goods business and worked his way up to store manager. An opportunity eventually presented itself to purchase the old Timonium Liquors on the corner of York and Timonium Roads. He seized it and operated that store from 1994 to 2002.

In August of that year, he transitioned to Freeland Wine & Spirits. "We initially rented," he recalled, during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal. "But in 2008, we bought the property and did an extensive expansion."

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Whoever said that the 2021 Session of the Maryland General Assembly would be narrowly focused on a few issues because of the COVID pandemic could not have been more wrong.  In fact, the pandemic had very little effect on the number of bills or subject matters that the Legislature took on.  From the budget, to healthcare, to police reform, and hundreds of other subjects, legislators considered 2,359 bills and resolutions, compared with 2,497 bills and resolutions during the 2020 Session.  They remained in Session for the full 90 days, unlike 2020 when their work was cut short due to the onset of the pandemic.  The annual meeting began at noon on Wednesday, January 10th and concluded at midnight on Monday, April 12th.

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As I write this, Maryland’s General assembly has just adjourned its annual legislative session. There is little doubt that Maryland’s lawmakers will again have impacted how we live our lives and run our businesses here in “ahem” The Free State.  Their actions imposing new controls or rescinding old ones will be embraced by some and decried by others.  

The legislative fallout from the executive branch’s response to covid-19 will take some time to parse. I fear the crisis caused by the restrictions on individual liberty will propel the same government that caused the need for temprary de-regulation to permanently change industry safeguards without understanding the basis and purpose of the original policies. 

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