Booze in Kansas supermarkets a hard sell
The Kansas City Star
The politically hefty Kansas Chamber of Commerce is preparing to throw its weight behind this year’s bill proposing that full-strength liquor be sold in Kansas grocery stores, convenience stores and other venues.
Good luck with that.
This measure comes up every legislative session, and never goes anywhere. It would be convenient for customers and probably good for the state’s economy to allow beer, wine and liquor to be sold in places where people shop for other things, rather than forcing them to make a special stop at a designated liquor store.
But those designated liquor stores form a powerful lobby, warning of lost jobs should they actually have to compete with other venues.
Not only that, the ghost of Carrie Nation remains on patrol in the Sunflower State. Last year’s proposal to expand the retail market for alcoholic beverages drew opposition from pastors, the Southern Baptists, Kansas for Addictions Prevention and the Kansas Association for Responsible Liquor Laws.
An especially aggressive group is Kansas Families Against Liberal Liquor Laws, which is up on Twitter calling the state Chamber of Commerce’s position “shameful” and warning of dire consequences if the state loosens up its restrictions.
With all the issues the Legislature has to handle this year, I’m not sure lawmakers will want to take on the liquor store-family values alliance.
On the plus side, the Legislature made happy hour legal in Kansas last year. So there’s that.