Oklahoma Liquor Law Concerns Retailers
The Oklahoma legislature approves a proposal that could ultimately loosen state liquor laws, to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell full strength beer and wine.
Edward’s liquor store in Miami, Oklahoma opened nearly 40 years ago. B ut it’s owner is worried possible competition with grocery and convenience stores puts it’s future at risk.
“Very few businesses can compete with the Walmarts of the world,” Edward’s Liquor Store owner Alex England said. “There are very few hardware stores, there are very few mom and pop stores. And this is very much a mom and pop store.”
SJR 68 is up for voters approval in November. It would allow wine and stronger beer to be sold in places like Walmart.
“We don’t feel like grocery stores, convenience stores, need one more items on their shelves,” England said. “We only have three items. And to give up two of those three items is a pretty scary prospect for us business owners.”
It’s one of several pieces of legislation which would loosen regulations for alcohol sales in Oklahoma.
“We do want [the state] to be more progressive. Also, we don’t want to give up our business,” England said. “I’m afraid that in people’s rush for convenience that they are going to buy their stuff when they are buying their milk and bread. And we don’t sell milk and bread.”
“The smaller stores are going to suffer the most,” England said. “And while we value the public and what everyone wants, we don’t want to see our business go away.”
The Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma is endorsing the bill, which the senate approved with a more than 2 to 1 margin. The Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma has come out against it.