21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Ballot Initiative
On September 1, 2021, a ballot initiative filed by members of the Massachusetts Package Stores Association was officially certified by the Attorney General.
If passed by voters, the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform initiative petition decreases the number of full liquor licenses allowed by an individual or corporation to seven, while progressively increasing the number of beer and wine licenses to eighteen minus any full liquor licenses owned by the corporation or individual. The initiative petition also levels the playing field by prohibiting self-checkout and it makes a fine for selling to a minor applicable to gross sales and not just for alcohol beverages. The initiation petition additionally helps every retailer because it allows for out of state IDs to be relied upon. Finally!
The filing of the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform ballot initiative was necessary because disruptors within the alcohol industry were collaborating to expand licenses to the detriment of local retail. In February, Cumberland Farms filed H318 - An Act relative to the sale of wines and malt beverages by food stores. H318 creates unlimited food store licenses; allows food stores to rely on any type of ID; and permits the new food store licensees to obtain cumulative quantity discounts from wholesalers. In addition to a Cumberland Farms bill, two other license expansion bills were filed in February. H319 - An Act Relative to License Caps repeals all license limitations creating unlimited licenses in MA. The other license expansion bill is H414 - An Act further regulating certain licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages. H414 is particularly concerning because it increases the maximum permissible number of all beer, wine, and spirits licenses from 9 across the commonwealth to 18 across the commonwealth by 2030.
The next important milestone for the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform initiative petition will be a signature campaign across Massachusetts seeking over 80,239 certified signatures from registered voters. Those signatures will be filed with the state in mid-November. Securing the signatures will be very costly. Opponents are banking on us to fail.
What will happen if MPSA does fail? You know the answer. That is why we humbly seek your help to fund the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform ballot initiative so that it can get to voters. Please help!
You can help right now by sending a contribution to MPSA. Simply click the "DONATE NOW" button below or mail a check to: MA Package Stores Assoc., 30 Lyman St., Ste 2, Westborough, MA 01581. If you would like to have a conversation with a member of the Board of Directors or the Executive Director to find out exactly how your dollars are helping, we can arrange that too. As always, you can contact our highly dedicated and talented staff at 508-366-1100.