Distilleries avoid $14,000 FDA fee

Garrett Short
Created: January 08, 2021 06:30 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Distilleries that produced hand sanitizer during the pandemic were originally notified by the FDA they would be forced to pay a fee of over $14,000, but that has since been rescinded.

For businesses like Harmony Spirits, turning to hand sanitizer was a win-win situation. It allowed them to continue to sell a product while the distillery's doors were closed and also gave them a chance to help people get access to something that was hard to find: hand sanitizer.

"It was pretty happening in April and March with the sanitizer business and that was pretty much it. We had kind of a two month boom where we had a lot of activity and it was hard to find containers," Harmony Spirits' Jim Simpson said.

But when the FDA started telling small distilleries they would be facing a fee over $14,000, it was confusing. The distilleries were helping.

However, the fees have been waived, which is a financial relief for small business owners. Now that hand sanitizer is not as scarce, Harmony Spirits is looking forward to the day they can open without limits and get back to what they're truly passionate about.

"That's not our thing here. We're here to make fantastic spirits, not hand cleaner. We were glad to help in a tight spot but definitely not what we want to be doing on a regular basis," Simpson said.

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