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state law

Florida’s bizarre fireworks law still in place

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It’s almost Independence Day, which in Florida means: Time to scare some birds. Although you can buy fireworks in the state, they’re not actually legal here. Indeed, The Tampa Tribune in 2014 called fireworks sales in Florida an “institutionalized charade,” leading one lawmaker to call for “more freedom (and) less fraud.” Retail sales are allowed only because of a 62-year-old loophole in the law, the only known one of its kind in the country. That allows “fireworks … to be used…

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Craft distilleries hire lobbyists for upcoming session

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craft distillery

As lawmakers get ready to consider relaxing the state’s booze regulations, distillers have started to lobby up for the 2017 Legislative Session.   According to lobbying registration records reviewed Monday, some craft liquor makers have hired or re-hired representation for the upcoming session: Ron Book and Kelly Mallette, for Florida Distillers of Lake Alfred. Foley & Lardner’s Christian Caballero, Paul Lowell, Jon Yapo and Jonathan Kilman, for American Freedom Distillery of Tampa. GrayRobinson’s Jason Unger and Robert Stuart, for the…

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Booze bill would benefit craft distillers

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booze

Florida’s craft distilleries got an early Christmas gift in legislation submitted Wednesday. The bill (SB 166), filed by Republican state Sen. Greg Steube of Sarasota, would change state law to craft distillers’ benefit. He filed similar legislation when he was a House member. One proposal expands how much booze they can produce and still be considered “craft,” raising the limit from 75,000 gallons per year to 250,000 gallons. The bill reduces distilleries’ state license tax from $4,000 to $1,000, provided “it is distilling and bottling all of its…

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