Don't Expect Private Liquor Stores in Maryland's Montgomery County Anytime Soon

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Maryland's Montgomery County's government-run liquor stores are notorious (see R Street VP Kevin Kosar's take on Montgomery County booze sales here). Last year, however, the state legislature granted the county the ability to license privately-owned liquor stores. But according to Bethesda Magazine, county liquor regulators remain noncommittal about when (and even if) such licenses will be granted:

The Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control’s director said this week the department hasn’t set a timeline or established a policy to begin licensing privately owned beer and wine stores in the county to sell liquor.

The DLC has had the ability to license the privately owned stores to sell spirits for more than a year.

If implemented, such a policy could change the county’s long-held monopoly on the retail sale of liquor at its 27 government-run retail stores, which are the only locations where residents and others can buy spirits such as whiskey, vodka and rum in the county.

Hundreds of privately owned beer and wine store owners could potentially apply for spirits licenses if the county created a policy for them to do so. However, Dorfman said any new policy would likely not permit a privately owned store that wants to sell liquor to operate within five miles of a county liquor store...

Read the rest here.