03.02.01.12

.12 Wine and Distilled Spirits Distributorship Appointments.

A. Definition. "Supplier" means a licensed manufacturer, nonresident dealer, or wholesaler who sells a brand of wine or distilled spirits to a licensed wholesaler for resale to licensed retailers in Maryland.

B. A supplier who desires to change the licensed wholesaler it has selected or franchised to distribute a brand of wine or distilled spirits in the State shall provide at least 30 days notice of this intention by registered mail to the licensed wholesaler and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau.

C. A licensed wholesaler who desires to discontinue the sale of a brand of wine or distilled spirits shall provide at least 30 days notice of this intention by registered mail to the supplier from whom the product was purchased and to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau.

D. If there is evidence that a violation of the law has occurred or that the distribution of a brand or brands of wine or distilled spirits will be adversely affected if the 30-day notice period is followed, the Comptroller may consider any substantial proof that is submitted in writing, and, if circumstances warrant, cause a reduction of this 30-day notice period.

E. Any brand of wine or distilled spirits affected by the procedure set forth in this regulation which is in the outgoing wholesaler's inventory on or before the conclusion of this notice period shall be purchased and paid for by the supplier or incoming wholesaler at the laid-in cost of the outgoing wholesaler before the incoming wholesaler is allowed to distribute the product in the Maryland market. If a supplier, other than the current brand owner or authorized agent, acquires a brand and wants to designate a wholesaler other than the existing wholesaler, the supplier may not file the brand under Regulation .05 of this chapter, until the supplier or incoming wholesaler has purchased the inventory of the outgoing wholesaler at the laid-in cost of the outgoing wholesaler.

F. A supplier may not select, designate, appoint, or franchise more than one licensed wholesaler to sell or distribute a brand of wine or distilled spirits in Maryland for a period of time any longer than the 30-day notice period mentioned above.

G. This regulation does not apply to a county dispensary acting as a wholesaler.