Update On Privatization In Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association has provided an update regarding Governor Corbett’s’s proposal.  Here’s an excerpt from the PRLA announcement;

“Gov. Corbett announced his proposal to privatize wine and spirit sales in Pennsylvania. This is the first time the Corbett administration has taken the lead on a proposal. The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association has been actively engaged on this issue and will continue to do so as the legislative process moves forward.

The proposal is expected to contain the following:

  • Full privatization of wholesale and retail.
  • Wholesale will be brokered by brand, with a valuation formula used to determine the cost of each brand item.
  • The holder of a wholesale license will distribute the brands statewide.
  • Creation of five retail licenses:
  1. Wine & spirits retail license:  1,200 total licenses. The licenses will be auctioned, and each county will have at minimum the same number of retail licenses as current wine & spirits shops.
  2. Big box stores (Costco, Walmart, etc.): They will be able to sell unlimited cases of beer and up to 6 bottles of wine per transaction.
  3. Grocery store (Giant, Wegman’s, etc.): They will be able to sell two 6-packs and up to 6 bottles of wine.
  4. Pharmacy (Rite-Aid, Walgreen’s, etc.): They will be able to sell one 6-pack and up to 6 bottles of wine.
  5. Convenience Store (Sheetz etc.): They will be able to sell one 6-pack.
  • Wine & spirits licenses are limited to 1,200.  The other four licenses are application-based with no set limit.
  • Beer distributors will have the ability to enhance their license to sell wine.      They would also be able to purchase a wine and spirits retail license and      sell down to a mixed 6-pack.
  • Restaurants and hotels will be able to sell 6 bottles of wine for no additional fee, and up to a 30-pack for an annual fee.”

I will continue to monitor this issue as it moves forward.

1 Comment

Filed under In The News, Restaurant & Hospitality Law

One response to “Update On Privatization In Pennsylvania

  1. As a Canadian resident who (somewhat) knew about our liquor distribution system in the provinces of Canada (legal drinking age may vary from province to province – for example, 19 years old in Ontario, 18 in Quebec), I have reasoned to believe that Pennsylvania might research the experiences that the Canadian province of Alberta had privatized their liquor distribution system (mostly at the retail level).

    Alberta is the only province (so far) that privatized their system back in the early to mid 1990s and thesedays you can often find private outlets (and some supermarkets albeit with separate entrances) that sell liquor.

    Further east, the Canadian province of Ontario is in the process of piloting their so-called “express” liquor outlets at supermarkets (the LCBO, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario is the state-owned (or province-owned) enterprise (crown corporation as we call it) that sells liquor in the province) later this year. I would highly suggest doing a research on the liquor distribution system in Canada.

    In Quebec, you can easily find beer, wine and spirits at not only liquor stores, but at gas stations, supermarkets or corner stores (“Dépanneurs” in French) and so forth.

    Then again, it seems that our liquor distribution system (in the Canadian province of Ontario – where I live) needs to be modernized – to meet up with the demand.

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