Allow wineries to exist in counties where the population is over 100,000 people.
Argument for: This bill would remove the population caps currently in place prohibiting wineries from existing in both Clark and Washoe County. This will allow Nevada to have more wineries in their more populated counties. Currently Nevada has 4 wineries in the state which is the least in the country and Nevada is surrounded by California, Oregon and Washington who are amongst the highest states in regards to the number of wineries they have.
Argument Against: Current winery owners fear other states will expand their business to Nevada, increasing the competition for locally-owned wineries. The owners fear that will this bill will allow other winery owners from other states and use the state to bottle their own wine and profit from it. Current Nevada wine owners want Nevada wineries want Nevada to produce Nevada wine, which would require 75% of each Nevada bottle of wine to have Nevada grapes in it.
What would this bill do?
The bill will remove the county population cap which is set at 100,000 people, allowing wineries to serve wine on site. This will allow Nevada two biggest counties to serve wine on site in Clark and Washoe.
Impact There are currently four wineries in Nevada, they will be impacted because with more wineries in the state there will be more competition. However it could bring more people into the state in order to have them visit the wineries.
Cost: The bill won’t cost the state anything, since its just a removal of a population cap. However with the increased production of wine, this could lead to more people visiting wineries and buying homegrown Nevada wine. This will also lead to more jobs and could help boost revenue in Nevada.
In-depth: The bill was originally introduced on December 19, 2014. The bill had its first hearing on March 13, 2015 where the current owners of the four Nevada wineries testified that they were worried that out of state wineries would take advantage of Nevada, as they professed they want Nevada to grow and produce Nevada wine. However on March 27, 2015 both sides of AB 4 came to an agreement.
AB4 was introduced on December 19, 2014 by Assemblyman and bill sponsor Pat Hickey. The bill was presented on March 13, 2015 where opening statements were heard from for, neutral and against. On March 27,2015 all sides agreed on added amendments to the bill which was requested to amend and do pass.
- Official Bill ID: Assembly Bill 4
Official Title – AN ACT relating to wineries; deleting provisions specifying the population of a county in which a winery may engage in certain activities; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Link to full text of bill: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/78th2015/Bill/1150/Text