Rep. Cera Supports Measures To Promote Ohio's Multi-million Dollar Wine Industry
New legislation will allow local business to sell wine at farmers' markets
January 29, 2016
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State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) this week applauded the passage of two measures that will expand Ohio’s growing wine industry. The two pieces of legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Cera, will allow the sale of wine at local farmers’ markets and allow wine manufacturers to obtain a “farm winery” permit.

“Ohio’s wine industry provides many full-time jobs, and is a big part of our export business and tourism industry,” said Cera. “Supporting the wine industry is an integral part of promoting economic development in our state.”

House Bill (HB) 342 creates the Ohio Farm Winery Permit, which will allow wine manufacturers to be classified as legal “farm wineries” and allow them to sell directly to consumers on their premises. Farm wineries must grow and process grapes or other fruit into wine for public sale.

The second measure, Substitute HB 178, establishes the F-10 liquor permit, which will allow the sale of tasting samples and sealed containers at Ohio farmers’ markets. This permit will allow organizers to sell tasting samples for consumption at the farmers’ market as well as sealed containers of wine for consumption off said premises.

“There are a growing number of wineries and vineyards establishing roots in eastern Ohio, but many businesses that are just starting out may be too small to participate in the typical wholesale distribution system” said Cera. “These legislative proposals will support and promote local wineries by helping drive their sales at local farm markets, which are, many times, mom-and-pop establishments.”

According to information released by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2014, Ohio’s wine and grape industry supplied over $786 million to the local economy. The wine industry and other allied industries generated $46 million in federal taxes and $41 million in state and local taxes in 2012.

Both measures now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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