TOPEKA, Kansas – A Kansas House committee has approved a bill to allow grocery stores to sell wine, liquor and full-strength beer starting in July 2018.
The measure endorsed Monday by the Commerce Labor and Economic Development Committee also would allow convenience stores to sell full-strength beer in July 2018.
The committee’s 10-7 vote sends the bill to the full House for debate.
Groceries and convenience stores currently can sell what’s known as cereal malt beverage, or weak beer.
Only liquor stores can sell other packaged alcoholic beverages.
Grocery and convenience store chains have been pushing for a change for years, and supporters argue it would make the market freer.
But critics say such a change will destroy small businesses and make it harder to prevent alcohol sales to underage buyers.
Shortly after the committee’s vote to send the bill to the House, Dan Dillion, Chairman of Uncork Kansas released this statement:
“Today is a major step forward for the Uncork Kansas effort and a great day for Kansas consumers. We would like to share our appreciation to the committee and to all Kansans who voiced their support. We urge Kansans to continue to contact their legislators in support of this bill.”