Officials cracking down on illegal wine shipments in Michigan

Posted at 4:41 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 16:41:32-04

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is suing two California entities for illegally shipping wine and beer directly to consumers.

Go to Gifts, d/b/a The BroBasket, is based in Camarillo, California, while Vintner’s Collective is located in Napa, California.

Nessel’s lawsuit seek an injunction based on the Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act, a federal statute that allows state attorneys general to take action to enforce their state’s liquor laws in federal court.

Typically, Michigan law requires beer and wine to be channeled through MLCC-licensed wholesale entities for distribution to retail locations.

In limited instances, a manufacturer may ship wine directly to consumers, but only if it is licensed to do so. Neither entity in the lawsuit is properly licensed in Michigan to allow for direct-to-consumer shipping.

“Our state’s liquor laws were drafted to protect the health, safety and welfare of Michiganders, and my office will use its authority to aggressively enforce those regulations,” Nessel said. “I want to make it very clear that companies who do business in Michigan must follow the rules, and my office will continue to work with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to ensure our laws are respected.”

Nessel also alleges in the federal filings that Go to Gifts and Vintner’s Collective are violating Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act by misleading Michigan consumers to think that the companies’ activities are legal. Violations of the Consumer Protection Act are punishable by fines of up to $25,000 per violation.