Oklahoma: Liquor Association to challenge passage of measure that modernizes liquor laws in Oklahoma
by Jessica Bruno
November 9, 2016
The Liquor Association of Oklahoma is challenging a measure that would modernize the state’s liquor law.
Opponents of State Question 792 are preparing to file a lawsuit, claiming the measure was written unfairly.
“This is the best thing that’s happened to us since statehood,” said Susan Boehrer, a supporter of the measure.
Vineyard owners and the Oklahoma Beer Alliance are claiming victory after the passage of SQ 792.
“When Oklahoma became a state, we had 5,000 acres of grapes. We got down to 479, so passing 792 is going to bring back our entire industry,” Boehrer said.
However, many Oklahomans in the liquor store industry feel differently about the matter.
“You know we have to deal with these laws. We’d love to have them changed as well. It’s not that we don’t want them changed. It’s that we still want to try to have a fair way of competing with our new competitors,” said Vance Gregory, the owner of the Edmond Wine Shop.
The measure would allow for wine and full-strength beer to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.
“I’m sure we’ll feel it. There’s no question about it. It’s also obvious people want that. But, once again, we’re not trying to impede what consumers want, but we want and we deserve to get a fair shake out of the deal as well,” Gregory said.
So, the Liquor Association of Oklahoma is trying to challenge 792’s passage because they claim it was written unfairly.
“For example, there’s a limitation placed on us for sale of non-alcoholic items to 20 percent of our gross sales. There’s no corresponding limit placed on wine and beer sales for the new wine licenses. Also, we’re limited to two licenses versus unlimited licenses on the other side,” Gregory said.
Supporters believe the measure is a common sense law that will stand up against scrutiny.
If that’s the case, the measure would take effect in 2018.