Ocean City Today
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Special event zone, craft distillery bills signed by Hogan

Sen. Jim Mathias primary sponsor of both new laws
By Brian Gilliland | Apr 26, 2018
Photo by: Submitted photo Sen. Katherine Klausmeier (D-8), Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38), center, and Gov. Larry Hogan at Tuesday’s bill signing event in Annapolis. Hogan signed 207 pieces of legislation into law on that day.

(April 27, 2018) Gov. Larry Hogan signed two pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) into law earlier this week: one to create special event zones on certain Worcester County highways and another to raise the production cap for distilleries.

Because of growing citizen and tourist unrest with motor vehicle events, officials sought a solution to increase penalties for those not behaving themselves while in the resort.

The answer was a special event zone, similar to a school or construction zone, where monetary penalties for infractions could go as high as $1,000.

The zone can be activated and dismissed on demand.

“This is a tool and an asset to Ocean City, but it has to be executed properly,” Mathias said. “They need public relations to send out the message that the town is not going to condone or put up with this behavior.”

Mathias added he isn’t telling the resort what to do or how to proceed.

The second new law doubles the cap Class 9 distilleries, like Seacrets Distilling Company, can have on hand from 15,500 gallons to 31,000 gallons.

“This is the evolution of the alcohol industry in the 21st century that can be in conflict with the traditional three-tier system of manufacturer to wholesaler to consumer,” Mathias said. “It’s another dynamic to tourism, in that these places are destinations.”

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