§60-8A-4. Fruit sources; phase in; applications.
(a) On and after July 1, 2021, pursuant to §60-3-25 of this code, any farm winery attempting to manufacture hard cider may apply to the Agriculture Commissioner with a copy to the commissioner showing its inability to obtain 75 percent of the apples, pears, peaches, honey, or other fruits necessary to produce its hard cider from within this state. The Agriculture Commissioner may issue a permit to the applicant to import such fruit, honey, or fruit juice concentrate in an amount determined necessary by the Agriculture Commissioner to allow the farm winery to produce hard cider within the percentage established by §60-1-5a of this code.
(b) The burden of proof is on the applicant to show that apples, pears, peaches, honey, or other fruits, of the type normally used by the licensee are not available from any other source within the State of West Virginia. The commissioner shall not consider an application for a permit under this section unless it is accompanied by written findings by the Agriculture Commissioner in support of the application.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision in §60-3-25 of this code, to the contrary, any permit issued under this section is effective for a period of up to three years: Provided, That the applicant files an annual statement of necessity, supported by written findings from the Agriculture Commissioner, with the commissioner. After the five-year permit issued pursuant to this section has expired, the applicant shall submit any subsequent application for a permit pursuant to §60-3-25 of this code.