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Restrictions easing on Md. farmers' market wine sales

Sunday - 5/12/2013, 4:26pm  ET

Farmers' markets in Maryland will soon be more easily able to sell local wines alongside the usual fruits, vegetables, and incense.

Beginning June 1, The Maryland Department of Agriculture will implement a new permit process removing county-by-county restrictions and limits to the number of markets, or days, a winery can attend. The change also drops the requirement for farmers' market managers and property owners to sign paperwork to enable wineries to participate.

The new changes only apply to markets listed on the MDA Farmers Market Directory, which can be accessed online at www.marylandsbest.net.

"This new permitting process is another way we are working to connect consumers with all Maryland producers," said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance in a statement announcing the change.

Along with obtaining a permit, a winery must also be invited to attend a market. They'll also operate with restrictions - wineries won't be able to sell wine by the glass, and wine sampling and bottle sales would be subject to local regulations over and above what the new permits would allow, according to the MDA.

For every month wineries plan to attend a market, they must inform the comptroller which markets they plan to attend by the 20th of the previous month.

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