According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), a Pennsylvania state representative has proposed allowing grocery and convenience stores in the state to sell hard liquor in addition to wine and beer.
“This simply provides more choice for consumers in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Mike Reese, the bill’s sponsor.
Reese’s proposal, which should soon be before the entire House, would let any restaurant, bar, supermarket or convenience store with an “R” license from the state Liquor Control Board purchase a $2,000 permit to sell up to three liters of hard liquor per customer.
“I believe it will ultimately create that one-stop shop that so many of my (constituents) talk about, a place where they can buy their beer, wine and spirits without having to go to three different locations,” said Reese.
The proposal has been met with opposition.
“The alcohol content is a lot higher. I don’t believe we need access everywhere for it,” said Rep. Paul Costa, who chairs the House Liquor Committee and who expressed concern about the negative impact on state stores.
“It’s 5,000 jobs that we have in our state right now that deals with the state store system,” he added.
Reese countered that he only anticipates 400 locations to apply for liquor-to-go permits, much like what happened with wine-to-go.
The Pennsylvania Senate is considering a similar bill.