“It just doesn’t make sense,” Wineries say old liquor laws are hurting business
OKLAHOMA CITY – As the holidays are just around the corner, there is a push to change some of Oklahoma’s liquor laws.
Many of the laws were put into effect more than five decades ago after the repeal of prohibition.
Some local business owners say the laws are cutting in on profits, especially wineries wanting to ship to customers around the state like Roger Cude at Waters Edge Winery.
“I cannot ship in Oklahoma. If someone wants my products, they have to come in the store,” said Cude.
It’s something that upsets customers.
“They say, ‘Well, I don’t understand why you can’t send me the wine? If you are an Oklahoma winery, why can’t you ship wine in Oklahoma?” he said.
It’s the reason many wineries are pushing for change.
A bill that already passed the Oklahoma House in 2015 would have allowed direct shipping from wineries, but only if the customer purchases wine on site and then ships it to their door.
However, that bill did not make its way to the Senate before the legislative session ended, so legislators have a long way to go before the laws are changed.
Officials say there are plans to reintroduce a similar bill this coming year.
Roger says a change like that would mirror growth being seen in the area.
“We are getting an influx of younger people coming in where they don’t have those type of laws and they are putting pressure on loosening the laws. If that helps the economy and brings in bright individuals in the state, we are in support of that,” said Cude.
Diana Jaeger, a personal shopper specializing in unique gift ideas, agrees.
“Gift baskets containing wine cheese and nuts are very popular but with current restrictions, it’s an inconvenience to have these gifts shipped,” she said.
She believes changing the laws would allow a whole new market.
“As an Oklahoman that’s lived here for a while, I would ask Santa for updated liquor laws this Christmas. It just doesn’t make sense for 2015 to have these on the books.”