Recent Alcohol Law Changes in Colorado

Image via Wikipedia.

Image via Wikipedia.

In 2016, Colorado made headlines for reforming some of its outdated alcohol laws, including allowing grocery stores to sell full-strength beer (covered here). The booze debates have continued in Denver, with recent legislation passing that included some reforms as well as some restrictions. The Shelby Report has the update on what the bill included:

• Permits full-strength beer sales in all existing grocery and convenience stores, without distance restrictions to liquor stores or schools. It requires that new convenience and grocery stores wishing to sell those beverages be at least 500 feet from an existing liquor store;

• Allows clerks as young as 18 to sell full-strength beer, wine or spirits at grocery, convenience and liquor stores, down from the previously required age of 21 for such sales;

• Requires new grocery and convenience stores that wish to sell full-strength beer to derive at least 20 percent of their revenue from food sales. Existing grocery and convenience stores are grandfathered in to sell beer regardless of their income breakdown;

• Allows full-strength beer sellers to deliver beer to customers, provided they sell at least 50 percent of their alcohol from a brick-and-mortar location and use company employees in company vehicles to make the deliveries. This provision was added by legislators with the intension of trying to stop Amazon from taking over the local liquor-delivery market;

• Bans any full-strength-beer sellers from selling beer at below-cost prices;

• Allows Walmart—which had been left out of the original bill in 2016 permitting—expanded grocery store alcohol sales, to get the same extra 19 licenses over the next 19 years as was provided for other chain food stores; and

• Allows local governments and the Colorado Division of Wildlife to decide what kind of alcohol consumption will be allowed in public parks, since state law previously had limited such consumption to low-strength beer.

Read more here.