Does Your State Need Cookie Police?

That is a question that some states are debating. Although states have passed cottage food laws, many still have income caps in place. Mississippi has a $20,000 cap, the third lowest of states with caps. That limit is crippling to cottage food entrepreneurs.

The common arguments include that public health needs protection. No one
disagrees with that premise, however there is no evidence since the inception of cottage food laws that anyone has been made ill by foods sold legally under those laws.

Socia media

In the age of technology, the reality is businesses that do a bad job usually don’t survive. If a home baker has a great product partnered with equally good service, the word will spread and so will their income. Conversely , producing a bad product or service the word will spread and the demise of that business is inevitable.

In number of states to date, internet sales are prohibited. Mississippi Health Department took that even farther and sent cease and desist letters to home bakers who posted pictures of their products on their social media platforms. Fortunately they have stopped that.

Is it time to remove income caps?

Since the economy is a big concern for many states, allowing home bakers to maximize what they can earn by the effort that they are willing to invest only makes sense. The more the bakers are able to earn, the more they will contribute to the tax base. It enables the nome bakers to earn a living, provide alternative food choices for the public.

In Mississippi it seems that there may good news on the horizon. The legislature seems to be interested in expanding and updating the current laws. They are considering increasing the cap to $35,000. In addition the new bill will remove the internet prohibition.

The house passed this new bill unanimously and it is going to the Senate for a vote. There is no decision on that bill yet. Keep your fingers crossed and if you live in Mississippi now would be a great time to contact your representative.

 BRETT KITTREDGE is the Director of Marketing & Communications of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the state‚Äôs non-partisan, free-market think tank. This is what he had to say:

By eliminating the current restrictions on the cottage food industry in Mississippi, we can give consumers new options, grow the economy, and encourage entrepreneurship. Barriers to economic liberty have long existed in Mississippi, but this is something we should be interested in removing, especially during the current times.
We need to embolden small business growth, even the smallest of businesses. Freeing home-based businesses like cottage food operators is the right thing to do.
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