TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa-based distillery is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis for clarification on his Executive Order that allows some businesses to deliver items to consumers' front doors.
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The owner of Dark Door Spirits, Matt Allen, say they want to be at your front door, delivering whiskey, gin, and vodka, all made at their Bay area facility.
Allen says Florida statutes currently prohibit them from delivery. However, the governor’s executive order has the power to change that.
“The executive order asks if you can sell online and make deliveries, do that," Allen explained. "We want people to stay home as much as possible. Florida law requires us to sell on a face-to-face transaction at the distillery.”
For companies like Dark Door, their main customers are bars and restaurants. With most of them closed, distilleries aren’t left with many options.
Since the pandemic hit, Dark Door Spirits has gotten into the hand sanitizer business. But Allen said the profits don’t compare to the cash flow they get from the booze business.
“With that one exception for us, we would actually start hiring people," Allen said. "Because we’d be making the hand sanitizer we’re making and we’d start making our whiskeys and gins and hire people to make those deliveries."
The Florida Craft Distillers Guild is home to more than 60 distilleries in Florida that bring in millions of dollars in taxes. Those companies would benefit from a clarification or an exception from the governor.
It would also allow customers to buy local.
“You can actually order spirits from a non-Florida company and have it delivered to your house, but you can’t order from a Florida distillery,” said Allen. “I mean, you can order directly from a distillery in Kentucky, California. I mean, dozens of states.”
Allen said their research shows those states have lifted the restrictions that prevent distilleries from delivering door-to-door, like many liquor stores are already doing.
That’s why the Florida Craft Distillers Guild is asking for the public’s help in the form of a letter that they can send to the governor’s office.
We reached out to the governor’s office regarding this question and have not heard back.