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Old 04-02-2015, 05:47 PM   #1
codeman
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So I decided I would become legal this year. I have no idea where to start.
My county requires a 'conditional use' permit since I would be selling wine on farm/forest land (that's what the property is zoned) that's $400 for the initial meeting, then if approved another $3995.00 but it's permanent and goes with the property.
I would be able to legally construct an additional structure to process any of the produce directly related to the farm.

I called the OLCC (Oregon liquor control) and was told I need TTB approval first. Is this correct?

Called the TTB and was told I should contact OLCC first... hmmm fishy already.

OLCC says I need to finish the TTB application first.

So I guess my question is; will the TTB grant approval based on a blueprint? I'd hate to spend the money to construct this building and get a $4395 permit from my county just to have the Feds or State deny my application.

This property is located in unincorporated Clackamas county Oregon. No schools nearby but there's a church about .7 miles away.


 
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:07 AM   #2
jgmann67
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Take this for what it's worth - don't try to negotiation federal and state liquor control laws on your own. Unless you have a head for highly regulated activities, like making booze, it's frustrating and confusing to the Nth degree.

Find a good lawyer (I know - quite the oxymoron). Or, alternatively, find someone like you that's already gone through the process.

I used to practice liquor law in PA (also a control state, but even worse that Oregon) back in the day and would flat rate my fees to handhold a bar or restaurant licensee through the entire process (from the day I'm hired until the restaurant is open for business) for $3,500.

My record for approval is 8 weeks, 3 days.

Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:57 AM   #3
GreginND
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For TTB you need to have walls up. You should get help locally. Every county, every state has different issues and requirements. In general, you need to get the TTB license first which is currently taking about 3 months from submission to license. Then you can apply for your state licenses.

Fed and/or state should not deny your license if you have done everything properly. They WANT their taxes and are not in the business of purposely stopping new business. If you are sure local zoning is viable, then building the proper facilities and filling the license applications should be doable. Other than cost, I don't see how anything could be denied for the sake of denying it.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:09 AM   #4
grapeman
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You might want to take jgmann's advice and retain a lawyer to help you out. The whole road to approval is full of potholes and turns with no good map. For me, the TTB had to come first, then the state. They wanted a building in place and seemed to be most concerned that it was fully secure with locks. Not sure if a plan would suffice. My reviewer insisted on pictures of the building complete with specific shots of the locks. I had one door that I had installed, but hadn't put the lock on yet when I took the pictures. You guessed it, I had to retake the same picture showing the lock and send it in. It took about 8 weeks for approval for me, but months to prepare all the documentation complete with an environmental inpact statement. Plan on financial disclosure, background check and fingerprinting. Once I had the TTB Permit, then in my case the State Liquor board would consider my application.

Also consider that any wine made before you have the permit is not allowed for sale. You need the permit to make it.

I think a greater paradox than you got from the TTB and State was what we were told about a distillery. P)roblem one: It is illegal to own a still in NY without a license. The TTB requires a serial number of the still for their application. So they require you to own one before you can apply (which needs to be done before the state), but our state won't allow you to own one without a TTB Permit. Problem 2: NY has relaxed a farm distillery and allows concurrent use of a building for a winery and distillery- sharing the space. The state also allows tasings of the liquor in the same tasting room. The TTB however requires distinct buildings for the winery and distillery. Sales and tasings cannot be in the same building for wine and liquor. WTH? I decided it is not worth the effort to do it yet.

Good luck with the process...............
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:19 PM   #5
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It took me about a year and a half to complete and attempt to understand the TTB application process. Even so, when I submitted my information on May 1, it took until the end of October to finally get a permit from TTB.

I am in PA and just had my interview from the PALCB, which went surprisingly good. They are requesting 2 more pieces of information, which will hopefully answer the rest of their questions and we will have a license in 4 to 6 weeks.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:52 AM   #6
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The process at the Fed, state and local level wasn't the easiest thing I've done but wasn't the hardest either. I didn't use a lawyer. You have to proceed in the above order but as most have said you need some buy in at the local level as well. I made sure my zoning was locked in before I started.

I could be wrong but I think I saw a tutorial somewhere with descriptions and drawing showing a building that hadn't been built on their own private property. I didn't bookmark the link and can't find it again so it must be buried in a tutorial somewhere. TTB was great to work with so call them and ask (maybe record the conversation).

Now I wasn't building a winery so I was able to submit a one line lease agreement and a drawing of the property in powerpoint to TTB as part of my application. I screwed up the drawing the first time around but fixed it and re-uploaded the same day I was notified...got my permit the next week. Once they start looking at your application it goes quick so respond ASAP while your fresh on their mind.

My TTB agent gave me the sample lease agreement to use which I can send you if you want to "lease" something first then move. I do intend to build or buy a place and move here shortly which I'm not looking forward to but image the process is similar if not easier.

Anyone here moved your winery?

 
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:45 AM   #7
Norske
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The process of becoming a licensed commercial winery is daunting. However, it is completely doable if you have patience, time, and motivated.

My wife and I did it on our own with no help. We realized as we first looked into it, that it was going to be a long term project and there were many agencies and tons of paperwork to be dealt with. I must say that everyone that we had to deal with were all very helpful. Local, state, and fed's all have their criteria and when dealing with the government, every i needs to be dotted and every t crossed.

If my wife and I can do it, anyone who has a little bit on the ball can also do it. I realize that different locales have different laws and regulations and where you live may be 10 times harder than where I live, or it may be 10 times easier. Either way if this is what you desire to do, then go for it 100% and eventually you'll get there.

 
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:19 AM   #8
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Just got notified that my labels were rejected by the TTB. Apparently, putting in " " around your gov't warning will get your labels rejected. Frustrating, yet a learning experience. so I corrected the labels and sent them back for approval AGAIN....
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
GreginND
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Yes. Don't mess with the warning.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:34 AM   #10
Hokapsig
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NOW you tell me.....
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