There is an untapped sector of our state's economy that Sen. Nick Harper hopes can yield lucrative results for all involved.
Senate Bill 5650, which cleared the Senate Committee on Labor and Commerce & Consumer Protection on Thursday, will allow craft distilleries which produce and bottle their own spirits to sell their products at farmer's markets.
Harper believes this bill is just the start for an industry in our state that is on the rise.
“Craft distilleries are an industry with unlimited potential,” Harper said. “The production of these spirits reaches into so many different aspects of our economy that we must do everything we can to support their advancement and the small businesses which produce them.”
Harper pointed to Oregon, which already has a burgeoning craft distillery industry, and our state’s own wine industry as examples of what craft distilleries can mean to our economy. In 2009 alone, Oregon craft distilleries generated $413 million. Washington’s wine industry currently employs 19,000 fulltime employees and has contributed more than $3 billion to the state’s economy the last three years.