Colorado Voters Rejected Booze To-Go and Expanded Alcohol Delivery
Colorado had three alcohol-related deregulatory measures on November’s ballot. Two measures did not pass. Proposition 124 would have expanded the freedom for retail liquor store owners to own an unlimited number of licenses. State law currently caps that number at three. The measure, which would have been phased incrementally over the next 15 years, fell by a nearly 2-1 margin.
Strong opposition and Chicken Little-type pleas from owners of independent liquor stores helped kill the measure. “Colorado voters spoke loud and clear that they prefer locally owned stores who provide better service than out-of-state corporate interests who want to have absolute control over the Colorado market,” Carolyn Joy, owner of Joy Wine and Spirits, said in a statement, the Denver Post reported.
Another failed Colorado measure, Prop. 126, would have expanded consumer choice by allowing licensed alcohol retailers to offer expanded alcohol delivery services or work with existing delivery services and would have made permanent to-go alcohol measures put in place during the Covid pandemic. As I’ve detailed, many states have moved to make permanent their own to-go cocktails laws. That’s one reason Prop. 126’s tight loss was a surprise—with one supporter of to-go booze saying they were “shocked” by the results. Polls released just a week before the election showed Prop. 126 was likely to pass. The Lamar Ledger called the vote “a surprising turnaround” for a ballot measure “that appeared destined to cruise to victory on Election Day.”
Though votes are still being counted in Colorado’s third ballot measure—Prop. 125—supporters said this week they had eked out a victory. The measure would allow any retailer licensed to sell beer to also sell wine. Supporters, led by grocers, painted the measure as what it is—a way for grocers to provide more choices to consumers.
“They want Starbucks, a deli, a COVID booster shot, organic produce and a specialty cheese section at the grocery store, along with beer and wine,” Sheila MacDonald, of the group Wine in Grocery Stores, told Colorado Public Radio this week.
In Massachusetts, voters rejected a hodgepodge alcohol ballot measure that would have done a host of largely unrelated things—some good, others not so much. The measure, Question 3, would have gradually increased the number of licenses an alcohol retailer could hold. That’s good. But it also would have prohibited consumers from using automated or self-checkout to purchase alcohol.
Article from Reason.com