Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation to encourage economic development by reducing oppressive regulations on Ohio’s micro-distillers.

House Bill 243—jointly sponsored by State Representatives Casey Kozlowski (R-Pierpont) and Ron Young (R-Painesville)—strives to lighten burdensome, bureaucratic permit restrictions on economic development. It would allow more micro-distillers to obtain permits and drive more economic growth and investment in Ohio.

“The economic possibilities this bill brings are exciting. Innovations like this bill are what will help Ohio recover and prosper in the future,” Rep. Kozlowski said. “It is also positive to see bipartisan support on another piece of legislation that will help improve Ohio’s business climate.”

Currently, an A-3a permit can only be obtained in counties with 800,000 residents and may be issued to only one micro-distiller in that county. This restriction limits permit holders to just three statewide.

House Bill 243 removes the 800,000 county population requirement allowing micro-distillers to acquire this permit and begin operations as boutique producers in other areas of Ohio.

“The micro-distillery industry is a growing segment of our national economy and one worthy of development in Ohio,” said Rep. Young. “This legislation was brought to us by local wineries in Lake and Ashtabula counties. These local wineries are noted for creating family-friendly environments that are a benefit to the local farming economy and promote tourism throughout our region. With the addition of micro-distilleries to the winery’s operations, they will become even more robust economic assets to our region. If Ohio is to grow and create jobs, we must look for ways to promote economic growth, not stifle it as current regulations in this industry have done.”

House Bill 243 passed with unanimous support and will now move to the Ohio Senate, where it will undergo further consideration.


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