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Maryland May Allow Online Purchase of Israeli Wines

Maryland state legislators are pushing a bill that would allow online purchases of kosher wines for international retailers as “a reasonable religious accommodation that allows Marylanders of the Jewish faith to live out their faith more easily,” said Democrat Delegate Sam Arora.

The state’s Daily Record, a publication focusing on law, reported that the state’s two-year-old law legalizing direct shipment of wines only applies to domestic wineries and excludes kosher wines from Israel, France and other countries.

Kosher wines also usually not stocked on the shelves of local liquor stores. The Daily Record pointed out that adding to the difficulties of Jewish consumers is a law that makes it a crime to transport more than one gallon if wine across the state border,

Arora said he hopes the bill, sponsored by 76 legislators, will be passed this year.

However, the Record said that retailers oppose the bill because of concerns they will lose sales.

“Usually you’re lucky if you can find one or two brands of kosher wine,” Arora said. “Typically it’s very low-end, so if you want to bring a nice wine over to a Sabbath meal, it can be challenging.”

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