Fight over "half-mile" liquor store rule in Michigan

Michigan's alcohol regulator is considering changes to the state's half-mile rule, which prohibits liquor stores from opening within half-a-mile of another liquor store. Tracy Samilton reports for Michigan Radio:

"Small liquor stores are urging the Michigan Liquor Control Commission not to repeal what's known as the 'half-mile rule.'

The rule has been in place for 40 years.  It keeps new liquor stores from opening within a half mile of existing liquor stores.

Rishi Makkar is a founding member of United Small Business Owners, as well as a liquor store owner in Grand Rapids.

He say the margin of profit on liquor sales is very low, under 15%, and out of that, stores must pay taxes, credit card charges, and other fees...

But Liquor Control Commission Chairman Andy DeLoney says the commission always seeks public comment when granting a new license, and has many times denied a license because the neighborhood opposes it.

And Deloney says the rule is hurting small mom and pop stores that already sell beer and wine, but are denied licenses to sell liquor just because they're a half-mile from another liquor store..."

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