Florida bill looks to allow liquor sales in supermarkets, retail stores

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WSVN) - A new bill in the Florida Senate would allow you to buy liquor from the grocery store.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Senate Bill 106 would repeal a law that’s been on Florida’s books for over 80 years, requiring liquor stores to be separated from grocery and retail stores. The separation is nicknamed the “liquor wall.”

The bill passed through the Regulated Industries Committee in a 9 to 1 vote. Simiilar measures have died in past legislative sessions.

If it passed, the bill would allow for hard liquors like whiskey and rum to be sold in supermarkets and other stores, while allowing stand-alone liquor stores to expand their grocery selections.

“Big box” retailers like Wal-Mart and Target are in favor of repealing the liquor wall measure, while Publix and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits are against it.

Miami Republican Senator Anitere Flores sponsored the bill, saying it would be more convenient for shoppers. But Charles Bailes, the CEO of ABC liquor stores, argued that having hard liquor available in supermarkets and discount retail stores would make alcohol more accessible by minors, and therefore easier to steal.

A similar bill is currently being considered in the Florida House of Representatives.

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