Chicken-Fried News: No violin needed

costcoRemember how happy you were when you heard cold full-strength beer and wine were going to be available in grocery stores beginning in 2018?

It felt like Oklahoma’s alcohol laws were finally rocketing into the late 20th century. After a federal judge dismissed a challenge presented by a trade group representing liquor store owners, we don’t have to worry about State Question 792 getting struck down.

Liquor store owners claimed they will lose a large portion of business to grocery stores under the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause, but when isn’t the Fourteenth Amendment cited in such cases?

Besides, it’s not like it is time to break out a small violin for liquor stores. They’re still the only places to buy spirits, and they’ll have the better selection of beer and wine. Concessions were made in SQ 792 to allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays and supplement income by selling non-drink options like cheese, limes and other accoutrements.

Many of those same liquor store owners enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s and might like a Costco Wholesale in Oklahoma. Though Trader Joe’s has never acknowledged it publicly, it’s highly unlikely that they would’ve moved into the Oklahoma market without the prospect of changed legislation. We need our “two-buck chuck”!

It’s rumored that Costco has balked at not being able to sell its Kirkland brand wine in Oklahoma. With smooth sailing for the law to go into effect in October 2018, we can hope that a Costco joins Trader Joe’s and expands into OKC, helping us further enjoy the freedom to buy booze in many places that others have been enjoying for awhile.

Gazette Staff

This article was written by the Oklahoma Gazette staff. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story headline in your subject line.

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