This year there is a ballot initiative to allow grocery stores to sell wine and beer. Big deal, you say, but Colorado has been working on liquor laws established over 50 years ago. Many liquor store owners are quite happy with the way things are and don’t want the change. We have this dynamic new brew industry and they have some challenges with changing the rules.
The House members had a hot debate over this bill. Each of us on the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee shared our perspective on the merits of the bill and what we heard in our committee testimony. (Photo shows a packed committee hearing on this bill.)
With the new ballot measure, liquor store owners and the brewery industry worked together to a compromise bill, Senate Bill 16-197. The name is funny but it works. It essentially protects liquor stores from being run out of business if and when the grocery store initiative passes. Frankly, we don’t want to have a WalMart effect in our liquor industry and that could be entirely possible.