ANNAPOLIS, Md. (February 23, 2018) – Comptroller Peter Franchot announced today that 9,339 Marylanders signed a petition in support of the Reform on Tap Act of 2018, far exceeding the goal of 6,541 signatures, which represents the number of jobs the craft beer industry supported in 2016. Marylanders have been signing the petition online and at events and breweries across the state since the drive began in December.
“We received signatures from every corner of the state in support of the Reform on Tap Act of 2018,” said Comptroller Franchot, whose Field Enforcement Division regulates breweries, wineries and distilleries. “The fact that we surpassed our goal comes as no surprise because Marylanders want our state to be supportive and welcoming of these manufacturers and family-owned small businesses that contribute so much to our communities and to our state’s economy.”
The Reform on Tap Act, which will be heard before the House Economic Matters Committee Friday afternoon, would remove limits on beer production and taproom sales, allow local jurisdictions to establish taproom operating hours, eliminate franchise law requirements and remove restrictions on contract brewing by upstart breweries, among other provisions.
An economic impact study conducted by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates found that in Maryland, the craft beer industry had an overall economic impact of $802.7 million and supported or created 6,541 jobs in 2016. The industry contributed nearly $110 million in local, state and federal revenues, which directly supports investments in education, public safety, transportation and the environment.
The results of the petition drive were announced on the same day that a letter signed by more than 90 county executives, councilmembers and commissioners was sent to members of the General Assembly urging them to support House Bill 518.