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Mon Mar 13, 2017, 06:17 AM

Alcohol reform is still underway at the state Capitol

The most substantial overhaul of Oklahoma’s liquor system since Prohibition was approved by state voters in November, clearing the way for grocery and convenience stores to sell wine and refrigerated full-strength beer beginning in October 2018.

Additionally, retail liquor stores can open their shops from 10 a.m. to midnight Monday-Saturday and sell a small selection of items other than alcohol, like mixers, fruits and glassware.

The measure, State Question 792, amended the Oklahoma Constitution to repeal Article 28 (Alcoholic Beverage Laws and Enforcement) and enact Article 28A as outlined in Senate Joint Resolution 68. A companion bill, Senate Bill 383, set new alcohol licensing, distribution, enforcement and other regulations. Last spring, lawmakers approved Sen. Stephanie Bice’s SB 383; however, it required voter approval of SQ 792 to become law.

While proponents preached the need for Oklahoma to modernize alcohol laws, opponents — including many liquor stores — argued the reform benefitted big box stores over liquor stores, hurting the local economy and small business. In December, the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma filed a court challenge to SQ 792, arguing the law is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

Read more: http://okgazette.com/2017/03/09/alcohol-reform-is-still-underway-at-the-state-capitol/

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