MA Ballot Question Could Allow More Stores To Sell Beer, Wine

beer wine

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A proposed ballot question filed with the Attorney General's office would vastly expand the number of places allowed to sell beer and wine.

That could mean there's a booze war brewing in Massachusetts.

The ballot question proposal was filed by Cumberland Farms, which seeks to change state laws it called "archaic" in a statement. Only seven of Cumberland Farms' 200 Massachusetts stores can sell beer and wine under a compromise reached between liquor stores and supermarket chains in 2006; one owner is only allowed to sell beer and wine at seven of their establishments.

That compromise was reached after both sides spent upward of $12 million in the fight.

Cumberland Farms said seven out of 200 stores isn't good enough.

Now that Cumberland Farms wants to sell beer and wine in every store, Massachusetts Package Store Association Executive Director Rob Mellion told WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal his organization is challenging the question, which he said was supposed to be settled with the decision 13 years ago.

"It literally rewrites Chapter 138 Section 15, creating a whole host of new elements to it that did not previously exist," Mellion said. "It's just completely surprising to us that somebody would do this and act so recklessly."

Mellion said Cumberland Farms' assertion that they'd provide customers with "more choice" is a false argument.

"A store like Cumberland Farms is going to be providing to the public the top grossing products," he said.

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WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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