View Full Version : Legal question
I have a legal question I was curious about. Here in New Mexico, no stores carry Buffalo Trace. However, I can legally order it from Sams or Binnys and get it delivered. My question is, would it be legal for one of the private liquor stores here in town to order cases from Sams and then sell the bottles themselves? It's just something I've been curious about.
Do you have state controlled liquor stores? If so, probably not but if they are totally private, I wouldn't see why not.
What you describe is essentially grey market and as the name implies, it's kind of on the borderline between legal and illegal. If, however, a store was very scrupulous and made sure all state and local taxes were paid, any remaining illegality would be technical only. The issue in what you describe is more practical. If your local store is buying at retail, then they would have to put a mark-up on that to make any money so the product would be very expensive.
I'm talking in principle here, but the way alcohol sales are regulated is very peculiar and very state-specific.
Both Chuck and Joe make good points. I believe that before a product can be sold it must be listed (or registered) in a state. I also believe that only the brand owner can list the product. So a retailer may be selling contrabrand if they "import" a bourbon from another state.
Here is where states vary, but it seems to me that a state could very easily require that retailers licensed in that state buy only from wholesalers who are licensed in that state, and as that would be a condition of their retail license, it could be pulled for violation, if the statute so states.
Thanks everyone. That satisfies my curiosity.
It sounds like it would be fairly complicated for the retailers here to bother with. Thankfully, New Mexico doesn't seem to mind me ordering it myself.
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