State Senators Vincent Hughes and Tim Kearney, U.S. Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon and Brendan Boyle, say they have successfully broken down the regulatory barriers preventing over 130 small craft distilleries in Pennsylvania from producing needed medical supplies such as hand sanitizer.
The federal and state lawmakers have worked with Rob Cassell, a Philadelphia based distillery owner and operator, to coordinate efforts statewide. Scanlon, Boyle, Hughes, and Kearney worked together to:
- Remove regulatory restrictions from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of the Treasury preventing this transition
- Secure start-up capital to convert these facilities, and supply the necessary ingredients and packaging
“When I learned of the proposal Rob and others had, my team and I immediately began contacting our network for assistance. We are grateful for the folks who have stepped up to make this partnership possible at a moment’s notice,” Senator Hughes said. “This exemplifies the best of us as Pennsylvanians. We have leaders, businesses and investors working together to keep businesses open and employees working, all to produce products to help keep our people safe.”
“In times of crisis, we rediscover the creativity and resilience that make us who we are,” Senator Kearney said. “Thanks to the partnership we forged between the public and private sectors, we can unleash the innovation and ingenuity of Pennsylvania’s vibrant distilling industry. Now more than ever, we must come together to turn our challenges into opportunities.”
“This COVID-19 crisis demands the quick disabling of barriers at all governmental levels that currently stand in the way of assisting the American people,” Congressman Boyle said. “By acting quickly and decisively, and in a bipartisan way on both the Federal and State level, we will help ‘flatten the curve’ of the Coronavirus. It is encouraging to see the speed and efficiency with which this outcome was achieved through tandem efforts from the public and private spheres.”
Cassell said the first sample could be available as early as Friday.