|Published:||Jul 01, 2013 5:47 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 01, 2013 7:28 PM EDT|
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - More than 150 new laws take effect in Florida July 1st. One of them allows a local business to do something that hasn't been done since prohibition.
The new law allows craft distilleries in Florida to compete with 23 other states selling spirits directly from the source.
You could say "spirits" are high at Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery.
As the clock turned forward to July 1st, Allen Seaman made history. "When you think back how many years its been, now all of a sudden we're doing it here in Cape Coral, Florida, it's great," he said.
He believes he is the first person to purchase spirits from a Florida distillery since prohibition. It's a milestone for owner JoAnn Elardo, because she pushed for House Bill 347 to become a reality. "Myself and Philip McDaniel from St. Augustine, we started this crusade probably a year and a half ago," Elardo said.
The bill allows craft distilleries that produce 75,000 gallons or under each year to sell spirits on the property. "We don't go into the areas where its federally bonded, we're outside of that. We're within the location, but we're in a special store," said Elardo.
Under the new law you can only buy 2 bottles a year directly from the distillery. Despite the limit, Elardo believes the ability to sell on site will promote toursim in Florida and in Cape Coral.
"The big surprise in the passing of this bill is how many people were really in support of it. And how many people were going to benefit from it, not only us distilleries, but restaurants in the area, hotels in the area, even rental homes," said Elardo.
Wicked Dolphin is located near the intersection of Nicholas Parkway and Pine Island Road in Cape Coral at 131 3rd Place.
They give tours two times a week, and want to increase that by the end of the summer.
The bill also means a boost in jobs. Because of the new attention they're getting, Elardo would like to hire more people in the future.