Bill that would modernize Oklahoma’s liquor laws passes House committee

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahomans are one step closer to having a say on whether they want beer and wine to be sold in grocery stores.

This week, the Oklahoma House Rules Committee passed Senate Joint Resolution 68   with a vote of 6-3, which will send it to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

The resolution would allow wine and strong beer to be sold at grocery and convenience stores, along with eliminating the constitutional requirement for 3.2 percent beer.

The measure does include some benefits for liquor stores.

Those stores would be allowed to sell cold beer and wine and non-alcoholic products like soda, ice, mixers and corkscrews.

“The independent members of the Beer Distributors of Oklahoma commend the House Rules Committee for its support of SJR 68, and forwarding the resolution to the full House for consideration. SJR 68 is a realistic, broad-based alcohol modernization initiative that, if approved by the full House, will make its way to the voters of Oklahoma to consider November 8th. SJR 68 will modernize Oklahoma’s archaic alcohol beverage laws in an equitable, safe and responsible manner. It will also protect the independent three-tier system, provide additional consumer choice and convenience, and allow Oklahoma craft beer brewers to expand their markets. The alcohol modernization process is complicated, and many stakeholders, including BDO, have participated for months in intense and complex discussions. SJR 68 is the only initiative that will provide the type of responsible alcohol modernization Oklahomans have stated they desire,” a statement from the Beer Distributors of Oklahoma read.

Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom also released a statement, applauding the committee for its support of the resolution and saying they are “confident voters will express their support for modern alcohol laws.”

“Anheuser-Busch is supportive of modernization and we are pleased to see the majority of the House Rules Committee is too. Support of SJR 68 is support for consumer choice and economic growth in Oklahoma. Oklahomans want cold, strong beer, available seven days a week at grocery and convenience stores, and this vote is one step closer to making that a reality,” said Eric James, senior director of sales and marketing at Anheuser-Busch Sales of Oklahoma.

The measure was being opposed by the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma.

If it passes the full House, the resolution would go to a vote of the people in November.

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