PA Court: Special wine, liquor orders can be sent directly

Wine

Bottles of wine are on display at the state-run Wine & Spirits store in Harrisburg. (WITF, file)

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board must allow distributors to send special wine and liquor orders directly to retailers instead of sending them to state stores for pickup, a court ruled Friday.

The PLCB can’t ignore a 2016 state law that permits the direct shipping of wines and spirits not sold in state-run stores, the Commonwealth Court ruling said. Retailers and restaurants have instead had to retrieve their orders, and pay a handling fee, at state stores that have been closed or operating on a limited basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge Kevin Brobson ordered the liquor control board to comply in a reasonable timeframe. An agency spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

MFW Wine Co., a distributor, and the Bloomsday Cafe filed the emergency petition. The special orders represent a small but growing portion of state liquor sales.

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