Late Tuesday, the Oklahoma Retail Liquor Association (RLAO) filed paperwork with the Oklahoma Secretary of State that would place a question on the ballot in November to allow full-strength beer in grocery stores and convenience stores, but virtually eliminate grocery stores’ ability to obtain wine licenses. In addition, wine would not be sold in convenience stores under their proposal.
“Unfortunately, SQ 785 doesn’t fully encompass the issues most important to consumers,” said Sen. Clark Jolley. “With no provision for wine to be sold in convenience stores and substantial limits on licensing of grocery stores, this measure is exclusionary and protectionist. By restricting a new wine license from being issued within 2500 feet of an existing liquor store, it virtually guarantees no metropolitan grocery stores would be allowed to carry wine, which is clearly something Oklahomans are demanding.”
“As legislators, our goal in modernizing the laws dealing with Oklahoma alcohol sales is to include all invested parties in the discussion, which is why we’re addressing the issue by working through the legislative process and not through a single voice at the table,” said Sen. Stephanie Bice. “RLAO has been included in the modernization discussions, but doesn’t approve of the direction, so they have chosen to try and limit the options of Oklahomans. We believe the two bills currently under consideration by the Legislature this session, SJR 68 and SB383, provide the best opportunity to establish true and meaningful reform. To exclude one component such as the availability of wine in convenience stores and place limits on grocery stores undermines the modern, comprehensive approach we are committed to uphold through this process.”
Senator Clark Jolley and Senator Stephanie Bice are Republicans from Edmond.