Ostroff Associates’ Scott Wexler has been named to the Governor’s Alcoholic Beverage Control E-Commerce Task Force

In February 29, 2016

NYS Built to Lead

For Immediate Release: 2/24/2016
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


Industry Task Force to Create Proposals to Regulate Retail Sales of Alcoholic Beverages via Third Party Providers

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the Alcoholic Beverage Control E-Commerce Task Force – a group created to develop a clear framework for regulating sales of alcoholic beverages through third party providers. Third party providers are currently unregulated entities that function as intermediaries between licensed retailers and their customers. This new and rapidly-growing segment of the industry will help increase sales, provide more consumer choices, and assist small craft beverage manufacturers that often lack significant marketing resources.

“This administration has worked tirelessly to cut red tape and reduce burdensome regulations in order to solidify New York’s role as a leader in the craft beverage industry,” Governor Cuomo said. “This task force will continue our efforts to modernize laws in order to encourage investment and expand opportunities for small businesses and craft retailers across this state.”

The task force, led by State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley, will hold an inaugural meeting on February 29th to begin gathering industry input on drafting legislation concerning third party providers. The meeting will begin at 10:00 am in the Full Board room of the SLA’s Harlem office located at 317 Lenox Avenue, with video conferencing in Albany and Buffalo. Members of the public and other industry experts are encouraged to attend, comment or provide written statements. Additionally, the meeting will be webcast live and archived on the SLA’s website at http://www.sla.ny.gov/.

E-commerce retail sales of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. totaled nearly $88 billion in the third quarter of 2015 and offer tremendous opportunities for New York businesses. By working directly with industry members, the SLA will develop clear rules that will enable retailers to innovatively grow their businesses with assurance of legal compliance. These rules will allow New York retailers to partner with third party providers without fear of regulatory violations and strengthen New York’s position as a leader in craft manufacturing.

The task force will make recommendations and propose statutory changes for this legislative session to address current issues related to third party providers including:

  • How to identify and define third party providers;
  • Clarifying which functions retail licensees may delegate to third party providers;
  • Developing a legal framework, consistent with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, regarding compensation for third party providers; and
  • Issuing permits or licenses for third party providers.

SLA Chairman Bradley said, “This is another example of the Governor’s continuing effort to make the State a better place to do business by helping New York retailers and producers reach new markets and providing clear direction for large and small businesses, including hundreds of family owned craft manufacturers.”

Members of the ABC E-Commerce Task Force include:

  • Vincent Bradley, Chairman, New York State Liquor Authority
  • Kevin Kim, Commissioner, New York State Liquor Authority
  • Michael Arton, Associate General Counsel, Anheuser Busch
  • Michael Correra, Executive Director, Metropolitan Package Store Association
  • Sean Croman, Associate General Counsel, Amazon
  • Keven Danow, Partner, Danow, McMullan & Panoff
  • Lester Eber, Vice President, Southern Wine and Spirits
  • Thomas Edwards, President, New York State Liquor Store Association
  • Kevin Fortuna, Founder, Lot 18
  • Elke Hofmann, Elke Hofmann Law
  • Mark Koslowe, Managing Partner, Buchman Law Firm
  • Paul Leone, Executive Director, New York State Brewers Association
  • Brian McKenzie, President, New York State Distillers Guild
  • Connie Oehmler, Chief Operating Officer, Verity Wine Partners
  • Lynne Omile, General Counsel, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
  • Nicholas Rellas, Founder, Drizly
  • Kristin Techel, Partner, Strike & Techel, Beverage Law Group
  • William Tomaszewski, General Counsel, Wine.com
  • Jim Tresize, President, New York Wine & Grape Foundation
  • Jeff Saunders, President, New York State Retailers Alliance
  • Brock Wanless, Assistant General Counsel, Groupon
  • Scott Wexler, Executive Director, Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association

Since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011, both the number of farm based businesses manufacturing wine, beer, spirits and cider using ingredients grown in New York and the total number of manufacturers producing alcoholic beverages have more than doubled, spurred by state actions that support the alcohol beverage industry.