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Mississippi could let distillers sell alcohol to visitors

Mississippi lawmakers could allow visitors to buy alcohol directly from distilleries, after agreeing to let visitors buy beer at breweries last year.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved House Bill 995 , sending it to the full House for more debate.

Some Mississippi distillers offer tours to promote their brands. The bill, sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, a Columbus Republican, lets visitors buy liquor at distilleries, but not drink those bottles on site.

However, the measure says the distiller has to buy the alcohol from the Department of Revenue’s Alcoholic Beverage Control warehouse in Madison County. That means the distillery would have to make the alcohol, ship it to the state, then buy it back.

The measure would take effect July 1.

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