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Government

Uncork Kansas: New Plan Will Generate Revenue For State

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Steven Depolo
/
flickr Creative Commons

An organization that wants to lift the 3.2 alcohol limit for grocery stores and gas stations thinks they’ve got a plan that may help provide millions of dollars for the cash-strapped Kansas Legislature.

The group wants to push through legislation allowing grocery stores to buy full liquor licenses directly from the state, and for convenience stores like Quik Trip to purchase licenses to sell full-strength beer.

Jessica Lucas, a spokesperson for Uncork Kansas, says the plan would generate about $40 million, with some licenses going for as much as $200,000.

“Additionally, $6.5 million would be generated with our plan annually through the renewal of those fees,” she says.

Uncork Kansas has been lobbying on behalf of both large grocery store chains and mom-and-pop convenience stores for several years. To date, they’ve been unsuccessful in getting lawmakers to agree to allow these businesses to sell full-strength liquor.

Previous plans would have capped the amount of licenses in the state and forced grocery stores and gas stations to purchase them from liquor stores. That would have given liquor stores more power, as they could possibly control whether or not the Dillon’s around the corner is able to compete with them.

Now, Uncork Kansas is catering to Kansas legislators as they wrestle with a $290 million budget shortfall. The argument for keeping full-strength alcohol strictly in liquor stores is to keep revenue going to small businesses, rather than larger, out of state corporations like Kroger-owned Dillon’s and Walmart.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter, @SeanSandefur

 
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