Arkansas Liquor Stores Sue Over Law Allowing Groceries to Sell Wine


Earlier this year, Arkansas enacted reforms to its alcohol laws that would allow grocery stores in the state's wet counties (some Arkansas counties are still dry) to sell all types of wine. Previously, grocery stores in the state could only sell certain types of "small-farm" wine. According to ArkansasOnline, several liquor store owners in the state are now suing to block implementation of the new law:

"Four small independent liquor stores in Arkansas will get a chance Nov. 13 to try to persuade a federal judge to temporarily halt the implementation of a new law that would allow grocery stores to sell any brand of wine.

Act 508 of 2017, which took effect Oct. 1, allows grocery stores in the state's 40 wet counties to expand their wine sales to include more than just wines from small farms that produce 250,000 gallons or less a year. Before the law took effect, grocery stores were limited to selling only the small-farm wines.

The legislation was signed into law March 15 by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who cited its "positive considerations for the consumer." It was backed by Wal-Mart Stores and Kroger Co., whose spokesmen said it would allow them to improve their selections and respond to consumers' demands. But many liquor store owners opposed the legislation, saying it would harm their businesses.

On Oct. 23, the four liquor stores sued the director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and its five commissioners, saying the new law unfairly allows grocery stores to bypass restrictions that apply to liquor stores, and that it conflicts with existing state laws..."

Read the rest here.