Kansas Laws Changing: Beer, Wine and Liquor at Your Corner Convenience Store

While some areas of the US are accustomed to the sale of alcohol 24-hours per day, 7 days per week, it's not necessarily the norm. In fact, there are more states with restrictive alcohol laws on the books than there are those with a more liberal outlook. Kansas has traditionally been one of the former, but things are changing here. What's in the works for Kansas? 

The big news here is a new law that will allow the sale of full-strength beer, wine and even liquor at local grocery stores and convenience stores around the state. Stores are currently not allowed to sell anything stronger than "cereal malt beverages," which have an alcohol percentage of 3.2% or lower. These beverages are far weaker than where most beers fall, much less wine and liquor. The new change means that residents will be able to buy their preferred, stronger beverages at a wider range of stores.

Kansas has liquor stores, most certainly. However, the new bill is aimed at opening up additional revenue for the government, which has been hard hit by the ongoing economic situation (much as many other states tottering on the brink of bankruptcy and insolvency). Of course, there are a few catches here. The law doesn't offer any results immediately. In fact, it won't really start changing things until 2017 – another five years.

With that being said, there are some changes that will be felt immediately. While the state will not start granting more liquor licenses immediately, if a liquor store gives up their license, then it can be given to a grocery or convenience store before 2017, when the rest of the law goes into effect. Liquor stores can also sell their licenses to grocery store owners or the owners of convenience stores. This offers some short-term benefits in the form of possible growth, but it also ensures that the change is made in phases. Beginning in 2017, Kansas will no longer limit the number of liquor licenses issued, and all convenience and grocery stores will be free to apply for one.

This radical change is part of a nationwide evolution. More and more, states are relaxing their laws dealing with alcohol and, specifically with craft beer and small brewers. The rest of the year will likely bring even more changes to laws throughout the nation. We need to keep in mind that change is ever constant and our laws need to reflect the majority desires of the citizen base. That is what makes our country so great.

Posted on March 1, 2011 and filed under The Business of Beer.