The Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy heard more than two hours of testimony about vaping and tobacco use on Tuesday.
The decision gives new life to efforts by Monarch, the state’s largest beer and wine distributor, to sell liquor in Indiana—efforts that have been shot down repeatedly by the Legislature and have led to several other lawsuits.
Capping a years-long court battle, justices held that overlapping ownership between Monarch Beverage Co. and Spirited Sales LLC should keep the latter from getting a state permit to wholesale liquor.
The Indianapolis-based alcohol wholesaler had challenged Indiana laws that prevent beer wholesalers from also selling liquor.
The convenience store chain would be able to keep the permits that two locations use to sell cold carryout beer—a hot-button issue for Indiana liquor stores. Renewing the permits might be trickier.
Holcomb said it’s up to the General Assembly to decide whether the law should be tweaked but he provided legislators no direction.
Recent legislation has had the effect of dramatically reducing the number of players in Indiana’s vaping and e-cigarette industry and creating a monopoly for a Lafayette security firm.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he will ask the Indiana Supreme Court to put on hold a lower court ruling that said the state must grant a wholesaler permit to Spirited Sales LLC, a company affiliated with Monarch Beverage that wants to sell liquor.
At an interim meeting of the Senate public policy committee, State Sen. Ron Alting said the law did create a monopoly and cause harm to small businesses. The law and circumstances of its passage are being probed by the FBI.
The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission has granted Spirited Sales a temporary permit to sell wholesale liquor after a Marion County special judge denied the state’s request for a stay on her August ruling for the company.
The state has requested a stay of a Marion County judge’s ruling last week that opens the door for a Monarch Beverage affiliate to enter the liquor-wholesaling business.
The state has not determined whether it will appeal the ruling to grant a preliminary injunction in the case. The ruling only affects one company.
Cali Co-Packing LLC told IBJ that it has decided to withdraw its application from the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission following media reports that the company’s chosen security firm didn’t appear to meet a new state law’s stringent requirements.
One e-liquid manufacturer will get a short reprieve from the state’s new vaping laws, which effectively shut many players out of the market.
A California-based maker of vaping liquids received the go-ahead on Thursday after finding a security firm qualified to vouch for its operations.
Six e-liquid makers have applications pending with the state, which has until late Thursday to approve new permits. Meanwhile, critics of Indiana’s controversial vaping laws hope federal judges will block them from taking effect.
The state has effectively put a single private firm in charge of deciding which companies can seek a permit to manufacture e-cigarette liquids sold in Indiana.