The Wyoming Food Freedom Act (HB 56) is a huge step forward for the “food freedom” movement in the United States. Wyoming is the first state to pass a law that eliminates almost all regulations on local, homemade food sales. It is so different that it is hard to compare Wyoming to other states with cottage food laws… this state now follows different rules.
Wyoming residents can now sell ANY kind of food, as long as it does not contain non-poultry meat. This allows types of products that are not even close to being considered in other states, like chicken pot pies, veggie lasagnas, soups, ice cream, salads, smoothies, cheese, raw milk… the list goes on and on. As long as a producer stays within this law, there are ZERO regulations from any governmental agency: that means no health department regulation, no business license, no zoning approval — nothing.
However, there is one big limitation in the law, which is that all of these homemade foods must be consumed within a private home. This restriction means that custom cake makers would not be able to sell many wedding cakes (a common item sold under most states’ laws), but they might have to focus on birthday cakes instead, which are more likely to be consumed at a home. All sales under this law must be direct to the final consumer (no reselling allowed).
Wyoming still has its original cottage food law, which also only allows direct sales, and it is unclear if that law would allow some types of sales that this law does not (like a wedding cake).
It took over five years of persistent efforts by a group of individuals to get this food freedom bill passed… it did not happen overnight. Other states have tried passing a bill like this, but those efforts have failed.
All of your products must be exchanged in-person with the final consumer. Customers cannot resell your products. Technically, items can be sold online, if they are delivered or picked up in-person.
The above allowed list was designed for most cottage food laws, and it hardly begins to describe all of the foods allowed under this law. Your products cannot contain non-poultry meat (beef, pork, seafood, etc). Aside from that restriction, ANYTHING can be made and sold under this law. Anything fresh, refrigerated, frozen, or canned is allowed, including items with poultry (chicken, turkey, etc), dairy, and cooked vegetables. This law allows more food items, by far, than any other cottage food law in the United States.
Most cottage food laws specify where your products can be sold, but this law also specifies where they can be eaten. The law states that all products must be consumed within a private home. This would not restrict most direct sales, but it would affect some. For instance, wedding cakes are a common cottage food item in other states, but sales of wedding cakes would not be allowed under this law, unless the wedding occurred at a private home. For those types of sales, you may be able to use Wyoming’s original cottage food law.
No license, inspection, or training is needed. The law prevents any governmental agency from restricting your business, which means that zoning laws do not apply to you, and you do not need a business license. You can start your business immediately, without needing to call any local or state governmental agency.
Although there are no labeling requirements, you must inform each customer that the product is not certified, labeled, licensed, inspected, or regulated.
- March 2015
- HB 56