State bill worries Kansas liquor stores

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Some local liquor stores are worried about a Kansas bill that would allow you to buy full-strength alcoholic drinks in grocery stores.

Right now the beer you buy at the grocery store is not as strong as the kind you buy at liquor stores. 3.2 is highest alcohol by volume allowed.

The group Uncork Kansas testified in front of the House Commerce committee Monday to allow grocery stores to sell stronger beer and wine so they can generate more revenue and allow for more competition in the market. It would also be more convenient for consumers.

The bill mirrors a similar piece of legislation that Oklahoma passed last year. It would not only allow for grocery stores to be able to sell the tougher stuff but liquor stores would be able to sell all products and would allow for more than one license.

“The customer is who really benefited from this type of legislation,” says Dick Stoffer with HyVee. “It opens the doors for competition for lower prices for customers and yes, we have to compete and so does everyone else on a lower playing field.”

Aaron Rosenow, the owner of Vern’s Retail Liquor says this piece of proposed legislation has him worried.

“Liquor sales are a finite number,” he says. “It’s a pie and right now that pie is distributed among the 761 liquor stores in the state of Kansas. All small, business owned, all family owned. You bring 3,000 more outlets, even with just beer and wine, and pieces of that pie are going to get split even thinner and that’s going to mean less revenue for the business to point where some are going to close.”

Uncork Kansas says they just want to make sure that the government doesn’t have dictatorship over what companies sell in their stores.


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