Governor asks Maine people to join in expressing support for Ukraine and calls on State Liquor and Lottery Commission to delist Russia-made spirits
Governor Janet Mills today signed a proclamation (PDF) declaring Maine’s Solidarity with Ukraine. The Governor’s proclamation expresses the State of Maine’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine against Russia’s unprovoked invasion and urges all Maine people to join in expressing support for Ukraine and its people.
The Governor today also called on the State Liquor and Lottery Commission to exercise its authority to delist all Russian-made spirits as soon as possible. By statute, the State Liquor and Lottery Commission must vote to delist a product. Delisting will prevent any additional Russian-made spirits from making their way to Maine retail and restaurant shelves until further notice. Governor Mills also asked all Maine spirits retailers and restaurants to remove Russian-made spirits from their shelves.
“Maine stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in the face of this abhorrent, unprovoked assault on their country, their freedom, and their lives,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I ask Maine people to join with me in expressing our support for Ukraine, for its people, and especially for our fellow Mainers with Ukrainian roots who are deeply worried about the safety and welfare of their loved ones right now. As we bear witness to the escalating tensions, I support the Biden Administration’s efforts to implement aggressive sanctions that punish Russia and cripple its economy, and I call on the State Liquor and Lottery Commission to delist Russian-made vodka in Maine and ask that retailers join us in this symbolic but clear sign that Maine stands with Ukraine.”
Maine is one of 17 states that controls the sale of spirits at the wholesale level. Maine does not own or operate retail liquor stores. Under Maine law, the State Liquor and Lottery Commission has the authority to determine or “list” the brands of spirits products available for sale to retailers, but it cannot require the removal of spirits once they have made their way to store shelves. Spirits are sold by the state to agency liquor stores, some of whom then sell the products to on-premise retailers, such as bars and restaurants.
The brands Russian Standard and Hammer + Sickle are the only two Russian-made spirits sold in Maine, inclusive of the following brand names: Russian Standard Original Russian Vodka, Russian Standard Gold Vodka, Russian Standard Platinum Vodka, and Hammer + Sickle. All other Russian-branded spirits sold in Maine are manufactured at distilleries not located in Russia.