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Alcoholic Cider and Mead to Disappear July 1

Medovukha, a mead-like fermented honey drink, will be considered alcohol under new rules taking effect July 1.

Natural low-alcohol-content drinks produced by fermentation, like cider and mead-like medovukha, will begin to disappear from store shelves July 1, owing to a new rule change scheduled to take effect.

The drinks will be officially included in the highly regulated sector of alcoholic drinks, meaning producers and sellers will have to obtain new licenses, get special excise stamps and meet many other requirements, Vedomosti reported.

Licensing requirements for the drinks will be too expensive for the small businesses that produce them, meaning they will simply be forced to cease production altogether.

In turn, many of the kiosks and stores through which about 80 percent of the drinks are sold do not have licenses to sell alcoholic drinks and are trying to flush their stock before the new rules come into effect. But beer — which has a similar alcohol content — will still be able to be sold without the license.

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