Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Brownback signs bill allowing sale of stronger beer in grocery, convenience stores

The beer aisle in grocery stores across Kansas, including this one at the Dillons store at Sixth and Wakarusa, have been drawing fewer and fewer customers in recent years because they can only stock beer with 3.2 percent alcohol, also known as cereal malt beverage.

The beer aisle in grocery stores across Kansas, including this one at the Dillons store at Sixth and Wakarusa, have been drawing fewer and fewer customers in recent years because they can only stock beer with 3.2 percent alcohol, also known as cereal malt beverage.

April 18, 2017

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— Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Tuesday that will, for the first time in modern history, allow grocery and convenience stores to sell "strong" beer, with up to 6 percent alcohol content by weight, starting in April 2019.

At the same time, the bill also will allow liquor stores to sell things other than alcohol, such as mixers, snacks and cigarettes.

Grocery and convenience stores have been lobbying for years to gain access to the packaged alcoholic beverage market in Kansas, something that currently is controlled exclusively by retail liquor stores. Currently, they are only allowed to sell cereal malt beverage, also known as "3.2 beer," which contains 3.2 percent alcohol or less, measured by weight.

Liquor stores have successfully fought those efforts for the last several years. But the scales tipped against them last year when both Colorado and Oklahoma enacted laws eliminating barriers to selling strong beer.

That meant that Kansas is now one of only a handful of states maintaining separate laws for strong beer and cereal malt beverage. Because of that, industry lobbyists say it's likely that beer manufacturers will soon stop making the weaker beverage, which would lock grocery and convenience stores out of the alcohol business entirely.

The bill was supported by a coalition of grocery and convenience stores that went by the name "Uncork Kansas." That group included Dillon's Stores and Casey's General Stores.

Comments

Brett McCabe 1 week, 4 days ago

Another example of how Republicans fail to understand how the economy works.

Great news for national and regional chains who pay their employees next to nothing and ship their profits outside of the state.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 3 days ago

It's called kill the small businesses and let the corporations take over. Of course, they already have in almost every area, haven't they? But soon they will take over everywhere and who will buy their products? Many corporations try to increase their profits by laying off workers and moving to other countries, but eventually they are going to loose so much real profit, that they will have to do something.

RJ Johnson 1 week, 3 days ago

Our country is based on Capitalism and free trade. That is what's so great about living in a FREE country! Don't like it feel free to move to the Soviet Union~!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 3 days ago

All business being owned by a few large conglomerates who can influence rules and regulations which kill any competition is not a free market. It's an oligarchy. And looking at our president and much of his cabinet, that's exactly what we have now. Look for lots of road blocks to be put up for start ups, but lots of breaks for large corporations.

And if you don't know how the rules got this way and that they were influenced by liquor store owners, you know nothing about Kansas' long and strange relationship with alcoholic beverages. You are probably quite young or new to Kansas.

Pete Kennamore 1 week, 3 days ago

Liquor stores will have to find a way to compete or die. It's the capitalist way. Just ask the so called "family" farmers. They are all but extinct these days and our food costs are lower because of it,

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 3 days ago

And controlled by just a few corporations that could have a stranglehold on us, not unlike oil companies.

Brandon Devlin 1 week, 3 days ago

Sam the man, continuing to work "miracles" in the State of Kansas.

Greg DiVilbiss 1 week, 2 days ago

The difference is that your neighbor who owns your local liquor store has been forced only to be able to own and operate one liquor store. Dillons and Casey's are under no such restriction. By opening these Beer sales in these stores, you are effectively harming your neighbor and creating unfair competition to save a few pennies.

Also, where do the profits go from Dillons and Casey's? Not Kansas we are sending money out of State. In addition to that do you think liquor sales will go up? I seriously doubt it. What will happen is prices will drop a little, so we collect fewer sales tax reducing revenue to the State.

I agree Liquor sales should have been open from the beginning. However, since they were not this bill should not have been signed. The people who were unfairly held to a higher standard should be protected.

Shame on Sam Brownback on this one.

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