Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Maryland agriculture laws go into effect this week

New Maryland agriculture laws go into effect this week
Rules define locally grown food, allow wine shipments
The Cumberland Times-News
Sat Jun 25, 2011, 09:49 PM EDT

CUMBERLAND — Numerous Maryland laws and regulations regarding agriculture will go into effect the week of June 27.

These laws define locally grown food, allow wine to be shipped in and out of state, transfer seafood marketing and aquaculture development to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and increase weights and measures registration fees.

“A recent study found that 78 percent of Marylanders are more likely to buy produce that is identified as having been grown by a Maryland farmer,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “We are very pleased by the public’s support of local Maryland farms and their desire to provide fresh and nutritious food to their families. These new agricultural laws and regulations will protect the best interests of the both consumer and Maryland producers.”

Regulations concerning the advertisement of “local” foods go into effect Monday. If advertising a food product as local, businesses must have point-of-sale signage indicating the state of origin of their product. These products include raw meat, eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, shellfish and processed dairy products.

Additional laws that go into effect July 1 include:

• The Direct Wine Shipping law will allow wine to be shipped to Maryland resident from in- and out-of-state wineries. The wine must originate from a winery — not a retailer or auction house — and is limited to 18 shipments per year per household.

•  The transfer of seafood marketing and aquaculture development to DNR will streamline the development, oversight and permitting process for the aquaculture and seafood industries into one agency.

• Weights and measures registration fees will be increased for scales with a capacity of up to 100 pounds and retail motor fuel dispenser meters of under 20 gallons per minute. Some of these measuring devices include deli counter scales and gasoline pumps.

For more information, go to or call Mark Powell at 410-841-5770.

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