LD 2088 – LD 2088 – An Act To Clarify the Laws Governing Financial Relationships between Entities within the Three-tier System for Distribution of Alcohol

Summary: This bill is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs pursuant to Resolve 2019, chapter 15. The committee has not taken a position on the substance of the bill and by reporting this bill out the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of this bill. The committee is reporting the bill out for the sole purpose of obtaining a printed bill that can be referred to the committee for a public hearing and subsequent committee action in the normal course. The committee is taking this action to ensure clarity and transparency in the legislative review of the proposal.

This bill consolidates in one section the separate laws prohibiting financial relationships between entities within the 3-tier system of alcohol distribution in Maine. The bill clarifies that, with only a few minor exceptions, an entity in the manufacturer tier, wholesaler tier or retailer tier may not have a financial interest, direct or indirect, in an entity in a different tier of the 3-tier system. Unlike current law, the bill clarifies that these so-called 3-tier prohibitions apply to entities that sell spirits. The bill also preserves the prohibition in current law against an in-state wholesaler of malt liquor and wine, referred to in current law as a wholesale licensee, having any financial interest, direct or indirect, in an out-of-state wholesaler of malt liquor or wine whose products are imported into the State.

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