Lot 18 Secures Brick & Mortar Retail License from NYSLA

Over the past year, the New York State Liquor Authority has wrestled with how to treat third party wine marketers like Lot 18.  As we discussed in an earlier blog post, the NYSLA questioned whether third party marketers were essentially operating as unlicensed alcohol beverage retail business.

Although the NYSLA has promised to issue additional guidance for third party marketers, Lot 18 decided not to wait, and instead applied for a retail liquor store license which would allow them to legally ship wine to New York state customers.  On January 14, 2014, Lot 18 representatives appeared before the NYSLA to answer questions related to their May 2013 application for a liquor store license for a storefront located at 2 Clark Place in Mahopac, New York.  Lot 18 provided an overview of their online and brick and mortar operations, how orders and funds would be processed, how they would work with other marketers.  After some deliberation, the board approved Lot 18’s request, and a declaratory ruling should issue in the next few weeks.

Lot 18’s decision to secure an alcohol beverage retail license is an interesting move by one of the most widely recognized online wine businesses.  Most third party marketers have been operating based on an assumption that their business model does not require a state alcohol beverage license.  Lot 18 went through a nine month process to apply for and secure a retail license, which will allow them to reach consumers in New York, which is second only to California in direct-to-consumer wine shipments (according to the ShipCompliant / Wines & Vines 2013 Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Report).

DP&F does not represent Lot 18 in this matter.

For more information on third party marketing, internet marketing, or wine law in general, please contact John Trinidad at [email protected].