H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Discussion and plans for legalizing our hobby.

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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Bearded-and-Bored » Tue May 30, 2017 7:31 pm

I made a video promoting the legalization effort. Hope it helps get some folks off their butts and writing letters to Congress:-)

Here's the link if you want to check it out. https://youtu.be/_rVZ0TwyYD4
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby dieselduo » Wed May 31, 2017 4:17 am

great video ! I hope it helps the cause
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby LWTCS » Wed May 31, 2017 12:25 pm

Yeah nice job..
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Brewhaus » Wed May 31, 2017 12:47 pm

Thank you so much for the work that you put into the video. It was well done, and will certainly help the cause!

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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby rgreen2002 » Wed May 31, 2017 6:50 pm



Nice job B&B... I embedded it here for ease.
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby just sayin » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:32 pm

Very well done, B&B! SC posted it on MD, I saw it there and came there. Very sound logic well presented. I will let people know about it! Thanks for you effort!
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby apdb » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:53 am

shared on my facebook page up here in the great white north, eh! :thumbup:
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby magnum49 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:26 am

Yes!!! Good job indeed....


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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby LWTCS » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:12 am

Happy to share on the SD social media network if you would like me to do so. But will need your permission first.
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Bearded-and-Bored » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:30 am

Sorry for the long delay in getting back here. Gmail has been dumping my notifications in the trash. Hadn't checked in because I thought the thread went dark after my video. Glad to see I'm not a pariah, lol:-)>

I'm also glad that you are all happy with the video. One of you guys asked for permission to share the video. Please feel free to do so. The more eye balls on this issue, the better. Most people don't even know that it's still illegal. I've had 4 conversations with folks over the last month or 2 that thought it was legal.

Speaking of that, you won't believe what I got in my email inbox. A response from one of my Senators...FINALLY. Here's it is.

{{Thank you for contacting my Senate office. We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention.
While we would like to be of assistance to you, your concern is a matter of state jurisdiction, which does not fall within the purview of the federal government or the United States Senate. I encourage you to re-direct your correspondence to your state senator and representative.
Thank you again for sharing your views with me. Please feel free to contact me in the future about any issue important to you or your family. }}

ARE YOU F'ING KIDDING ME?!?! Not only are they ignorant of the law, but they didn't even read my letter. I mention in the FIRST paragraph that it was part of FEDERAL legislation, S-1562, last year. I had to count to ten and walk around the yard for a while to calm down after I read that.

So, anyway, long story longer, I'm drafting a super polite response apologizing for being "unclear". It took everything I had not to be snide, angry or sarcastic. If I piss off the intern reading the letter it'll just get trashed. Trying this approach to see if I get a better reply. Also, I'm starting out the letter by mentioning that I am a member of the Hobby Distillers Association. Sometimes they pay more attention if they know you're part of an organized group.

I'm also considering sending actual print letters to any congressman from my state who is currently a cosponsor of the new bill. They usually won't respond or even let you email them if you don't live in their district. You can find the cosponsor list here - https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... cosponsors and here - https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... cosponsors Can't hurt at this point.

By the way, the current bill, S236, already has 46 cosponsors in the senate, and the House bill, H 747 has 252 cosponsors, but to date no amendment has been added to either. This is VERY close to the level of support the previous version had. Pretty soon these folks are going to be desperate to pass some safe pro small business legislation that helps the little guy entrepreneur and cuts taxes. As the bill sits now it looks great, isn't controversial in the least, and is a winner for both sides of the aisle. We need to get that amendment on there ASAP before they vote.

Good luck everybody!
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby raketemensch » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:16 pm

My Senator posted on Facebook this week about what wonderful things craft brewing has done for our state, so I responded that he should then sponsor this bill.

Craft breweries have created thousands of jobs, and distilleries would do the same. Seems like a no-brainer...
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby rgreen2002 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:36 am

More and more I'm starting to wonder if the Marijuana guys have the right idea.... By this, I mean starting this as a movement at the state level. The bureaucracy of this at the federal level is astounding and watching Rick and the HDA throw good money after bad is frustrating, to say the least. Maybe our best bet is states like New Hampshire who is trying to pass a hobby distilling bill and states like Missouri who allow personal distilling in the face of the federal laws...
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Bearded-and-Bored » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:23 am

raketemensch wrote:My Senator posted on Facebook this week about what wonderful things craft brewing has done for our state, so I responded that he should then sponsor this bill.

Craft breweries have created thousands of jobs, and distilleries would do the same. Seems like a no-brainer...


That's perfect! He's already thinking in the right direction. Way to seize the moment!
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Bearded-and-Bored » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:28 am

rgreen2002 wrote:More and more I'm starting to wonder if the Marijuana guys have the right idea.... By this, I mean starting this as a movement at the state level. The bureaucracy of this at the federal level is astounding and watching Rick and the HDA throw good money after bad is frustrating, to say the least. Maybe our best bet is states like New Hampshire who is trying to pass a hobby distilling bill and states like Missouri who allow personal distilling in the face of the federal laws...


I agree, it's really frustrating. No idea if the state by state approach will catch on or not. Too bad we don't have millions of millennials on our side like weed does. Honestly at this point, I'd take a bunch of hipsters making it trendy if it meant it was legal.
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby rgreen2002 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:32 am

Bearded-and-Bored wrote:
rgreen2002 wrote:More and more I'm starting to wonder if the Marijuana guys have the right idea.... By this, I mean starting this as a movement at the state level. The bureaucracy of this at the federal level is astounding and watching Rick and the HDA throw good money after bad is frustrating, to say the least. Maybe our best bet is states like New Hampshire who is trying to pass a hobby distilling bill and states like Missouri who allow personal distilling in the face of the federal laws...


I agree, it's really frustrating. No idea if the state by state approach will catch on or not. Too bad we don't have millions of millennials on our side like weed does. Honestly at this point, I'd take a bunch of hipsters making it trendy if it meant it was legal.


I think home distilling is "MORE" illegal than weed now... so that hipster thing could happen at any moment! :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby raketemensch » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:14 pm

Brewhaus wrote:We (the HDA) had actually kept this quiet in case ‘big liquor’ was against it and may try to get our piece struck from the bill. We knew that would not last forever, but even our lobbyist feels that, at this point, the effort that it would take to get our portion amended out of both bills would not likely be worthwhile to them.

With that said, do not assume that this bill is just going to pass and become law. There is still a long way to go, and we desperately need as many people as possible to contact their representatives to ask for their support of the bill, and if they have not done so, to co-sponsor it.

And, not to sound like a broken record, but the HDA also needs your support! The cost has been largely carried by Brewhaus, as membership in the HDA has covered less than 5 months of the 19 months that we have been paying the lobbyist. So, if you have not signed up, or have not renewed, please do so. We need to continue pushing this bill in order to get it past the finish line.

With respect to the 15.5 gallon boiler limit, Senate Finance originally wanted 7.5 gallons, with a 15 gallon aggregate (total combined) size. We were able to negotiate it to 15.5 gallons, with no aggregate, so consider that a win. :D

Rick


I was wondering if it might be possible, in this age of legalization of other things we won't talk about on a state-by-state basis, to draft a generic version of this bill for us to push at the state level as well. It always gets re-worded and re-negotiated as it goes along anyway, but having something to present our state representatives with (in the hopes of finding one or two here and there who really Get It) would be a tremendous asset for our cause right now.

Would it be possible to get a cost estimate for having the firm that drew up the federal bill to draft something like this? We could do a GoFundMe or IndieGoGo campaign to fund it so that Brewhaus or the HDA doesn't have to foot the bill.

If nothing else, it might be a good recruiting drive...
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Brewhaus » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:49 pm

The problem here is that every state's current laws are written a little differently, so different references would need to be made for a proposed bill in each state. That is quite an undertaking.

The federal bill was actually drafted by Leg. Counsel in the Senate Finance Committee.

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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Carpe Potum » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:00 am

Brewhaus wrote:The problem here is that every state's current laws are written a little differently, so different references would need to be made for a proposed bill in each state. That is quite an undertaking.

The federal bill was actually drafted by Leg. Counsel in the Senate Finance Committee.

Rick


I agree with Rick here. It would be a shame to lose all of the accumulated momentum by switching directions -- especially if there's any chance of getting the current Senate and House bills amended.

Can anybody update us on movement towards getting the bills amended this go around? I'm sure it's not just cut and paste, but the amendment has been drafted. Maybe Rick can chime in on what it would take to get it attached to the current bills.
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Brewhaus » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:03 am

As we mentioned before, we had to cut the lobbyist loose due to a lack of outside funding. Since May, we have not even brought in half of one months' lobbyist charge, just to give an idea of the situation.

This does not mean that we are sitting on our laurels. We are both working to round up more support, and also trying to get a bit of help from other sources that have some pull in DC. Tom has been working tirelessly on this. We may have a bit more to share soon, but at this time it is just us trying to get more funding and/or find the right group that wants to help take up our fight.

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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby jdetechguy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:04 am

Brewhaus wrote:As we mentioned before, we had to cut the lobbyist loose due to a lack of outside funding. Since May, we have not even brought in half of one months' lobbyist charge, just to give an idea of the situation.

This does not mean that we are sitting on our laurels. We are both working to round up more support, and also trying to get a bit of help from other sources that have some pull in DC. Tom has been working tirelessly on this. We may have a bit more to share soon, but at this time it is just us trying to get more funding and/or find the right group that wants to help take up our fight.

Rick
This is a real shame. Something that actually pass if it went to a normal vote.

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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby masonsjax » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:00 am

http://thefederalist.com/2017/09/06/hom ... istilling/

This nice article came up on my feed today. Aside from the mention of YouTube as a place for good advice, they did a nice job.
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby bilgriss » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:07 am

I saw the same article and intended to post it here. Thought it was fair also.
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Bearded-and-Bored » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:37 pm

I just reread a lot of this thread. I don't recommend it since knowing the current state of things makes it a bit depressing. Things seemed so rosy in the middle of 2016, like we were really close. Sorry to be a downer. I just realized it's been almost 2 years since my wife had a panic attack when she realize my "little hobby" was illegal. 2 years since I broke down my still and stored the parts away, keeping them safe until I could legally reassemble them and make some whiskey. In that time I've collected about 2 dozen books, countless forum posts, pictures, plans, videos and recipes. I'd like to start distilling again, but my wife has this silly "No illegal shit in the house" rule, so I'm out of luck. Since I really like having sex with her, I have to keep my sad little pot still in storage. I don't mean to make her sound like a shrew. She supports my other hobbies, just not the one that could send me to prison. I could probably convince her to let me run my still every now and then, but I know she'd be nervous every time I did it.

During my reread of the thread I also realized I haven't seen much movement on this since we lost the lobbyist. I know the lobbying firm was very expensive, ridiculously expensive, but I don't know that us few can move the needle without them. To date I've got over 1600 views on my legalization video, a few other guys have videos out too, I have written to both senators and my congressman twice (as I know you guys have too), and I tweeted at various still manufacturers and politicians, all to no observable effect.

The only other idea I had to make enough money to fund the lobbyist was to collectively, as hobby distillers, lobby all the people who make money off of us while doing nothing to legalize the hobby. Some of them are helping, but several big name manufacturers haven't lifted a finger. Why not?

What would happen if we all sent these still manufacturers and dealers letters requesting that they contribute in one way or another, time, money, letter writing, publicity? Anything they can do would be helpful. Simply reminding all their customers on the front page of their websites in big bold letters (not on some hard to find disclaimer page) that it is illegal to distill alcohol and if the customers think that sucks and should change then they need to do XYZ. I'm sick and tired of them using the "essential oil and water distilling" loophole without doing anything to make that unnecessary. Good for them for finding a way to make distilling equipment available, but it's long past time they pitch in and help change things. It would earn the businesses a lot of customer loyalty if they showed that they were doing something, anything to make it safe for us to actually purchase their product without worrying about some damn list of our names at the TTB. Yeah, I know the TTB stopped requesting the lists from dealers, but they can restart that at any time. The law is still on their side.

A coalition of a few thousand hobbyists isn't that noisy I guess, but maybe a coalition of a few hundred businesses that make millions of dollars can get congress to notice.

I'm just venting my frustration. I know you guys are fed up, too. I just want to distill again.

Brewhaus, throw me a bone. Any good news? I need a sunny day.
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby Worm_Drippinz » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:51 pm

Bearded-and-Bored wrote:I just reread a lot of this thread. I don't recommend it since knowing the current state of things makes it a bit depressing. Things seemed so rosy in the middle of 2016, like we were really close. Sorry to be a downer. I just realized it's been almost 2 years since my wife had a panic attack when she realize my "little hobby" was illegal. 2 years since I broke down my still and stored the parts away, keeping them safe until I could legally reassemble them and make some whiskey. In that time I've collected about 2 dozen books, countless forum posts, pictures, plans, videos and recipes. I'd like to start distilling again, but my wife has this silly "No illegal shit in the house" rule, so I'm out of luck. Since I really like having sex with her, I have to keep my sad little pot still in storage. I don't mean to make her sound like a shrew. She supports my other hobbies, just not the one that could send me to prison. I could probably convince her to let me run my still every now and then, but I know she'd be nervous every time I did it.

During my reread of the thread I also realized I haven't seen much movement on this since we lost the lobbyist. I know the lobbying firm was very expensive, ridiculously expensive, but I don't know that us few can move the needle without them. To date I've got over 1600 views on my legalization video, a few other guys have videos out too, I have written to both senators and my congressman twice (as I know you guys have too), and I tweeted at various still manufacturers and politicians, all to no observable effect.

The only other idea I had to make enough money to fund the lobbyist was to collectively, as hobby distillers, lobby all the people who make money off of us while doing nothing to legalize the hobby. Some of them are helping, but several big name manufacturers haven't lifted a finger. Why not?

What would happen if we all sent these still manufacturers and dealers letters requesting that they contribute in one way or another, time, money, letter writing, publicity? Anything they can do would be helpful. Simply reminding all their customers on the front page of their websites in big bold letters (not on some hard to find disclaimer page) that it is illegal to distill alcohol and if the customers think that sucks and should change then they need to do XYZ. I'm sick and tired of them using the "essential oil and water distilling" loophole without doing anything to make that unnecessary. Good for them for finding a way to make distilling equipment available, but it's long past time they pitch in and help change things. It would earn the businesses a lot of customer loyalty if they showed that they were doing something, anything to make it safe for us to actually purchase their product without worrying about some damn list of our names at the TTB. Yeah, I know the TTB stopped requesting the lists from dealers, but they can restart that at any time. The law is still on their side.

A coalition of a few thousand hobbyists isn't that noisy I guess, but maybe a coalition of a few hundred businesses that make millions of dollars can get congress to notice.

I'm just venting my frustration. I know you guys are fed up, too. I just want to distill again.

Brewhaus, throw me a bone. Any good news? I need a sunny day.



Tomorrow when I light fires I'm going to do it in your honor. :thumbup: :think:
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Re: H.R. 2903 is up to 83 co-sponsors...

Postby NcHooch » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:11 am

Hey Yall,
I just visited the gofundme page for the HDA...it seems we're not doing our part.

$1,180 of $30k goal
Raised by 15 people in 9 months.

That's pitiful.
I'm going back in a moment here to pony up some cash for this effort
yall should think about how this hobby saves you money and please consider throwing a little cash in as well.
Thanks Rick for all your efforts.
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