TOPEKA — Weeks after successful legislative initiatives that change how alcohol is retailed in both Colorado and Oklahoma, Uncork Kansas partners introduced similar legislation in the Kansas House Commerce, Labor, and Economic Development committee to foster economic growth, consumer choice, and customer convenience. The coalition, comprised of convenience and grocery stores of all sizes from across the state, is pushing for the adoption of legislation mirroring what Oklahomans passed with 66 percent of the vote in the general election this past November. Under the Uncork Kansas bill, Kansans would be able to shop for their beer and wine in grocery, convenience, and liquor stores. They could also buy chips, mixers, corkscrews, and other non-alcoholic items in liquor stores. Liquor stores would continue to be the exclusive providers of spirits.
“At our customers’ insistence, we’ve long advocated for more consumer-focused alcohol laws and the legislative changes. We’re gearing up to work with the legislative body to move forward on this issue and modernize laws in Kansas so grocers and c-stores can sell beer and wine,” said Dave Dillon, Uncork Kansas chairman.
The push for change in Kansas is important because of the current law limits consumer choices and burdens consumers by prohibiting liquor stores from selling non-alcohol items. It also drives business across the border to Missouri and Nebraska where shoppers find larger selections, better prices, and greater convenience.
“Kansans have long expressed their frustration with Kansas liquor laws and it’s time that we as a legislative body take action to create equity in the marketplace and allow consumers the freedom to decide where they purchase their adult beverages,” said Sean Tarwater, R-Stilwell. “It’s not responsible to have policies in place that encourage shopping across the border. We need to retain business in Kansas and improving how alcohol is retailed is one to keep Kansas money in Kansas.”