Liquor stores clash with the state of Michigan over competition rule

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As covered on DrinksReform.org, the state of Michigan is attempting to repeal its so-called half-mile rule, which prevents a liquor store from operating within a half mile of another liquor store. As reported by The Detroit News, the proposed reform is drawing fire from incumbent liquor retailers:

"A proposed change to Michigan alcohol rules would allow multiple liquor stores on the same street corner and hurt existing retailers, say critics who are expected to pack a Wednesday public hearing.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission is attempting to eliminate the so-called half-mile rule, which has usually limited liquor stores from operating within 2,640 feet of one another since 1979. Hundreds of liquor store owners are expected to attend the hearing and speak out against the plan, according to the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, a trade group representing independent retailers.

The state says the rule is outdated and no longer needed.

The rule is “protectionist and anti-competitive,” said David Harns, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. “It significantly inhibits the ability for businesses to get into the business or to grow their business.”

The five-member Liquor Control Commission also argues the half-mile location rule was supplanted by a 2016 law that primarily focused on allowing beer and wine sales at gas stations.

But liquor store owners say their businesses could be decimated if those locations could also apply to sell liquor..."

Read the rest of the article here.