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PA's LCB eases restrictions on state wineries

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Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has dropped a restriction on the in-state wineries that allows them to better compete in the marketplace. Limited license wineries that offer their product in the state's stores, not only have to sell their bottles at a deep discount to PA, but the wine had to be marked up and sold for more at their own establishments.

This rule was enacted to account for PLCB's mark-up and pay for the liquor tax, but it meant that whatever the winery offered at the PA stores, they had to charge more for at their own locations.

This is no longer true, as of Saturday, the local wineries will be allow to discount those same bottles of wine at their businesses.

PLCB announced this small regulatory change with the belief that now in-state wineries will expand their selections in the PA stores. Many would not offer their best selections, realizing that customers would buy from the state's stores at the discounted price.

This small change is significant for both the state and the wineries. The wineries have a $2 billion economic impact on the state. The 100 wines listed for sale at PA Wine and Spirit store, and the 43 brands listed under the new PA Preferred Program, account for $821 million in sales; which is 42% of all the retail liquor sales for the state.

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