Voters may decide on expanding liquor sales

Posted at 5:59 AM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 07:59:00-04

Hard-liquor makers think Colorado voters should decide whether liquor should be included in a push to put beer and wine on grocery store shelves.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States on Tuesday submitted to the Colorado Legislative Title Board two ballot measures that ask voters to approve expanded liquor sales in Colorado.

One of the measures proposed by the trade group representing some of the largest liquor companies in the world would allow any grocery or convenience store to sell beer, wine and liquor. The other measure seeks a sort of middle ground, allowing any store with a license to sell beer, wine or liquor to expand those sales to 10 stores statewide. So Safeway, for example, could sell beer, wine and liquor at 10 of its 107 Colorado stores.

State law currently allows grocery chains to designate only one of their stores to sell full-strength beer, wine and liquor.

The proposed ballot measures were crafted to counter another pair of grocery-supported, proposed ballot initiatives that ask Colorado voters in November to approve beer and wine sales at food stores.

The Distilled Spirits Council says if either of those measures pass, the state's 1,600-plus liquor stores will suffer in competition with more than 1,500 food stores, and liquor sales in general would suffer, too.

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