Maryland Moonshine Laws

Just like every other state, the “Old line State” of Maryland is also taking a shot at bringing the all-American beverage back from woods and basements to the actual retail market. Businessmen, investors, and law enforcers, equally realize the importance of “the White Lightning” as a cultural heritage, and a popular—hence profitable spirit to sell.
A few wyneries thereby organized a Maryland Moonshine Festival this year in order to invite and attract moonshine enthusiasts from all over the state to Pylesville, MD.
The attendees were allowed to bring their blankets and chairs, so they could enjoy their drinks while listening to several bands that were invited as well. Crafts, flavor tastings counters, and a variety of American cuisine were also available for the entertainment of the attendees and tourists.
The turn-out was impressive as anticipated by many. People had a wonderful time. They also presented their critiques of the moonshine presented. Surprisingly, they were “Phenomenal” and “Fantastic” too; further boosting the spirit of moonshiners, and other brewers that presented their beverages in the festival. This entire event proved one thing: We don’t know about other states, but the future of moonshine in the state of Maryland seems very promising.

Under the Maryland alcohol tax laws, the Revenue Administration Division is responsible for monitoring the manufacture, storage, transportation, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages.

1. Is it legal to own a still?

No, it is not legal to own a still in Maryland without a license. Maryland Code Section g2b-1-201(a) (4) determines that no-one may possess anything that could be linked to or associated in any way with the unlawful distill of alcoholic beverages. Maryland Code Section g2b-16-505 regards possession of an illegal still as a felony and guilt would be punishable by a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1000, imprisonment for up to 5 years – or both fine and imprisonment.Maryland Code Section g2b-1-201(a) (5) empowers the Comptroller and officers toconfiscate anything used in connection with the illicit distill, as contraband.

Maryland Code Section g2b-1-201(a) (3) requires that the premises where moonshine is being prepared and produced should be licensed; a permit is mandatory. Hence you need a permit before producing moonshine for commercial or domestic use.

2. Is it possible to get a “student permit” to distil ethanol as a part of school science assignment?

The state statutes donot specifically talk about distillers for educational purposes but there are federal laws regarding it. Distillation in homes is not allowed even for educational purposes. But, educational institutes can apply for the Alcohol Fuel Permit application. Distillation has to be done under supervision and the facility has to be kept locked otherwise restricting access to it. Furthermore, you can also obtain permission from TTB for visiting certified distilleries.

3. What kind of a permit do I need to distil ethanol in Maryland?

You need a distiller’s license, Class 1 Manufacturer’s License. The rules differ in the different counties of Maryland. The cost of commercial distillery permit is $2,000 annual fee plus $200 filing fee. Additionally you will also need federal licenses for obtaining total legal status.

If you want to manufacture ethanol fuel, you can get a permit but you’ll need federal permits as well. Additionally you will also need other environmental permits and follow regulations set by the environmental authorities.

4. Is distillation of essential oils or water legal in Maryland?

While the statutes state that anything that is designed for manufacturing moonshine is illegal i.e. still, the legality of a still being used to distill water or other essential oils is debatable. If enough evidence is collected supporting the fact that the still was not being used to distill moonshine or if the still was designed in such a way that it cannot be used for moonshine, the still can be deemed legal.

Finally, we are not lawyers, this info is for your entertainment only, so be sure to consult a crafty moonshine laws lawyer before spending any monies on your own distillation plant!

maryland“Remember, the distillation of ethyl-alcohols is illegal without a permit per federal moonshine laws and is inherently dangerous because of ethanol’s flammability (never operate a homemade still indoors). For more moonshine laws and other moonshine still permit information, visit: http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/faq.shtml.”

Links:

http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/index.shtml – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, U.S. Department of the Treasury

moonshinelawsdirectory.com

http://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/Permits/Pages/busguide.aspx. – Maryland Department of the Environment:

http://www.mde.state.md.us/assets/document/Ethanol_Permitting_Summary_08.pdf – Summarization of the Maryland permitting process.