Because everyone loves a heartwarming story about the legal adventures of the wine industry, I present for your consideration New York’s bombastic attempt to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores. Fasten your seat belts people, things are about to get crazy…
According to ABC News:
[Governor David] Paterson’s plan to have New York join the 35 states that allow supermarket wine sales included more compromises for liquor stores, many of which have long opposed the idea. The governor estimated that a store franchise fee could bring New York $92 million in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Grocery stores, some wineries and grape growers, and other businesses were elated at the new proposal. Paterson attempted to sweeten the deal for opponents by allowing liquor stores to sell directly to restaurants and other retailers, put an ATM on premises and open more than one store.
If 35 states are already successfully embracing wine sales in grocery stores, then is this move really all that epic? There are always going to be glaring competitive disadvantages in a beverage industry rooted in baseless regulation (see “dry counties“), but when those competitive disadvantages translate into bad business that hurts consumers in the name of supporting earlier flawed models, things get a little silly.
The good news is that this change is going to be made in New York. BOOM. I said it. Maybe not this year, maybe not next year, but significant trends in the industry point towards loosening and relaxing booze laws, especially with the alcohol industry being one of the few industries actually generating jobs, growth, and tax revenues.