Liquor, grocery stores across Oklahoma preparing for new law

OKLAHOMA CITY – Grocery and liquor stores across the state are gearing up for a new law to go into effect in October.

State Question 792 allows wine and full-strength beer to be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores. Opponents of the bill said liquor stores saturate the market already and adding grocery and convenience stores to the mix will create unfair competition.

“What we’re concerned about is unfair competition, and what SQ792 does is it gives grocery stores and convenience stores and drugstores an unfair advantage in the marketplace. It allows them to sell at many more locations, many more hours and has looser restrictions that what we suffer in the retail liquor business,” said Retail Liquor Association President Bryan Kerr.

However, supporters say Oklahoma’s liquor laws haven’t been updated in nearly 60 years and it is time for a change.

“You keep hearing over and over the liquor store’s association is talking about Walmart and QT and big business, but I think they’re forgetting that there are several thousand small, independent grocery and convenience stores across Oklahoma that are actually really excited to see this legislation pass,” Sen. Stephanie Bice said.

The measure also gives liquor stores permission to sell ice and mixers, along with cold beer.

The new law is set to go into effect Oct. 1, 2018, and now stores across the state are preparing for the change.