Big Consumer Booze Battles Coming in 2013
If everything works out just right…..if the forces of self-interest don’t win the day…..if commonsense becomes a motivator and…..if the interests of consumers are suddenly taken seriously…..2013 could turn out to be a very good year in the world of Alcohol.
It’s true that the beginning of the year is that time when the most optimistic plans for political change get floated. It’s the time of year when new bill that might become new laws are introduced into statehouses across the land. Just because a bill is introduced is no guarantee it will pass, let alone even move down the road to passing. But this year’s crop of alcohol reform bills must make consumer advocates happy.
Privatization is the really big deal that worries LOTS of anti-consumer, self-interested folks. After Washington State got out of the liquor selling business we saw a decided shift in the attention paid to the idea of “Privatization” by America’s wholesalers and alcohol regulators. In a nutshell, they identified privatization as the biggest “threat” facing them. No mention is really made as to how it impacts consumers, who always have better choice and better access to produces under a system of private sales.
If Pennsylvania and Alabama advocates of privatization can muster the political support and will to successfully move their proposals forward, it would all into the “really big deal” basket.
Meanwhile, Kansas and Tennessee consumer advocates in the state houses are fighting the good fight to put wine in grocery stores. I know a lot of you reading this think to yourself, “what do you mean yo can’t buy wine in grocery store?” Ask the New Yorkers in your circle of acquaintances about that. New Yorkers, Tennesseans, Kansans, ask the Californian in your circle of acquaintances about the benefits of buying wine in grocery stores.
If these two states can reform to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores, it will be a huge victory for consumers, who up until now are told if wine is sold in grocery stores, great thunderous balls of lightning will fall from the sky and decimate their states’ economies.
Finally, The last state that outright bans any sales of alcohol on Sunday, Indiana, will apparently have a chance to reconsider its position. No word yet on how God feels about this development.
Notice that I am not writing about direct shipping. So far, there are no proposals on the table to open Massachusetts or Pennsylvania to direct shipment of wine. Further, at the moment there are no proposals on the table in any states that currently ban consumers from having wine shipped to them from retailers to allow that commonsense transaction.
But, the year is young. It could be a good year.