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State News

Supermarket Liquor Bill Fizzles Out

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Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Thursday the Senate Regulated Industries Committee heard a bill that would allow supermarkets and big box stores to sell liquor. 

“Part of the bill are two components the first eliminates a state mandate on the separate location and entry for the sale of one class of alcoholic beverage,” says Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton). 

He says supermarkets shouldn’t need a separate establishment to shelve liquor.

Florida would be the 18th state to allow distilled spirits to be sold in grocery stores. At least one industry group views the proposal as a step forward.

“It’s already one of the most heavily regulated industries of the country. Any kind of deregulation and opening of the market can only be beneficial to the consumer,” says Florida Brewers Guild Executive Director Josh Aubuchon.

But Galvano chose to postpone the bill instead of bringing it to a vote, saying it could take years to get through the Legislature. The move puts the bill in danger of failing, as many committees are meeting for the final time this week.