Save Hawaii's Craft Distilleries by Allowing Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

Save Hawaii's Craft Distilleries by Allowing Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

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blair frodelius
blair frodelius signed this petition

Hawaiʻi’s craft distilleries need your help. In the face of extended travel bans and the slowdown of Hawaiʻi tourism due to COVID-19, a new revenue stream is desperately needed to help craft producers survive this pandemic.

On April 30, 2020, Kōloa Rum Company, with support from Hawaiʻi distilleries including Kō Hana Distillers, Koʻolau Distillery, Kuleana Rum Works, Lanikai Brewing Company, Kupu Spirits (Maui Brewing Company), and Pau Maui Vodka, submitted a letter to Governor David Ige requesting an Executive Order allowing direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping of spirits.

Hawaiʻi’s craft spirits industry relies heavily on both tourism and kamaʻaina (local) traffic to sustain our businesses. As Hawaiʻi distilleries have closed their tasting rooms and suspended tours in the face of this health crisis, these closures have left distillers in an increasingly difficult position. During this pandemic, Hawaiʻi distilleries mobilized to shift production to alcohol-based sanitizers to supply local first responders, hospitals, health care providers, and essential businesses at the front lines of the health crises with much needed supplies at significant expense to our businesses, which were already suffering.

This struggle has grown from painful to unbearable for many of Hawaiʻi’s craft distilleries, and the lost revenue is substantial. In fact, a recent International Wine and Spirits Record (IWSR) Drinks Market Analysis forecasts that it will take the alcohol industry until at least 2024 to reach pre-crisis levels.

Allowing direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipments will provide a much-needed financial lifeline and allow Hawaiʻi’s distilleries to bring furloughed employees back to work.

Several other states have already taken measures to simplify the distribution of alcohol during the pandemic, offering a lifeline that is needed to keep open the small craft businesses. The American Craft Spirits Association is also advocating for “commonsense regulatory changes” alongside craft distilleries, many of whom have lost 100% of their retail sales.

Over two months have passed since Kōloa Rum Company initially requested Governor Ige’s support for direct to consumer shipments. Now we need your help.

By signing this petition, you are voicing your support for an executive order that will modify Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS) to:

  • Permit licensed distilleries within the State of Hawaiʻi to sell and ship the products they produce directly to consumers aged 21 and over within the state;
  • Permit licensed distilleries within the State of Hawaiʻi to sell and ship the products they produce to consumers aged 21 and over in other states that allow in and out-of-state DTC shipments;
  • Allow third-party delivery companies to deliver spirits obtained at a Hawaiʻi distillery directly to consumers aged 21 and over; and
  • Allow distillery employees to directly deliver Hawaiʻi spirits to consumers aged 21 and over.

We recognize and appreciate the steps our governor has taken to help other industries navigate this public health emergency and to keep Hawaiʻi residents safe, and we urge the governor to act on the above items to provide critical assistance to our state’s distilleries.