The Separation of Tiers
In the aftermath of the Repeal of Prohibition, most states adopted some form of the Three Tier System. Generally, the Three Tier System is intended to regulate the alcoholic beverage industry by separating manufacturers and importers (First Tier), distributors and wholesalers (Second Tier), and retail vendors (Third Tier).
Florida has a strong Three Tier System. The Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverage & Tobacco (the ABT), which is the regulatory agency charged with implementing Florida’s alcoholic beverage laws, describes the Three Tier System this way:
The manufacturer must sell only to the distributor, and the distributor only to the vendor. The vendor in turn may buy only from the distributor. The manufacturer, who is normally the brand owner, may not deal directly with the vendor. The distributor stands between the vendor and the manufacturer.
Florida’s Three Tier System Statutes
In Florida, the Three Tier System is created and maintained through statutes that are part of Florida Beverage Laws (Florida Statutes Chapters 561-568). Several statutes work together to outline Florida’s Three Tier System. The most important of these statutes are identified and briefly summarized in the following table.
Florida Three-Tier System Statutes
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For more analysis on Florida’s Three Tier System, check out our other posts on Three Tier System topic.
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