Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bill to expand liquor sales introduced in Kansas Legislature

By The Herald Staff | 1/29/2014

TOPEKA — Kansans might have the opportunity to purchase liquor in more convenient places if a bill introduced Wednesday is passed.

Uncork Kansas, a coalition of more than 1,700 businesses and associations in Kansas, said in a press release that a bill the coalition supports was introduced Wednesday in the Kansas Legislature. The bill would allow for convenience stores and grocery stores to sell alcoholic beverages, as well as allow liquor stores to sell non-alcoholic products.

TOPEKA — Kansans might have the opportunity to purchase liquor in more convenient places if a bill introduced Wednesday is passed.

Uncork Kansas, a coalition of more than 1,700 businesses and associations in Kansas, said in a press release that a bill the coalition supports was introduced Wednesday in the Kansas Legislature. The bill would allow for convenience stores and grocery stores to sell alcoholic beverages, as well as allow liquor stores to sell non-alcoholic products.

“Those of us who truly believe in fostering free market principles in Kansas recognize the flawed logic of restricting the sale of legal, adult beverages to one kind of business,” state Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, said in the press release. “The Uncork Kansas bill ensures Kansans will finally benefit from the choice, convenience, and economic gains that come with an open market. It certainly has my support.”

Under the bill’s guidelines, no new liquor licences would be issued from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2024, according to the press release. On or after July 1, 2015, any licensee holding a valid retailer’s liquor license may sell their license to another retailer qualified to hold the license including grocery and convenience stores, with approval by the Alcoholic Beverage Control, for a $100 fee.

Beginning July 1, 2017, qualified licensees could purchase a class A retailer license permitting the sale of beer. On July 1, 2020, a class B retailer license would be available for to retailers to sell beer and wine. At that time, liquor stores could begin selling non-alcoholic products. Beginning July 1, 2024, the license freeze would expire and qualified retailers could purchase a class C license legalizing the sale of beer, wine, and spirits.

“Liquor stores having the exclusive right to sell adult beverages, a known food commodity, puts small-town grocers in Kansas at a disadvantage and limits our ability to compete in the free marketplace,” Mike Moon, owner of Moon’s Hometown Market in Osawatomie, Humboldt, and LaCygne, said.

comments powered by Disqus