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Letter to the Editor: Local retailer supports yes vote on Question 3

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Letter to Editor

The proponents of Question 3 are a grassroots group of liquor stores, supermarkets and convenience store owners and employees trying to get the word out on a limited budget. Your help and support are greatly appreciated and needed. Please vote yes on Question 3!

The opposition to Question 3 is funded by just one out-of-state big box retailer to the tune of $2.25 million! Massachusetts Fine Wine & Spirits LLC = Total Wine & More. Total Wine has over 220 superstores in 27 states.
Don’t be fooled by their ads, they are not trying to save your local store!

Question 3 expands the number of beer and wine licenses and caps the number of full liquor licenses an individual can own. It does not create any new licenses that are available locally. The new configuration would still represent the most licenses allowed amongst the 23 similar three-tier states.

Question 3 would prohibit self-checkout of alcohol at supermarkets and other stores. It’s not just about carding but identifying intoxicated people and stopping second-party sales. You can’t buy cigarettes, prescription drugs or cannabis at a self-checkout station, nor should alcohol be allowed.

Question 3 will increase fines and penalties if a store sells alcohol to minors or for other infractions. These penalties are based on gross sales, which will result in higher fines for multi-channel box retail that are comparable to those of a single-channel alcohol retailer. The fines should be just as punitive for big box stores as they are for small stores. These higher fines will signal to box store retail how important it is to accept responsibility when selling alcohol.

Question 3 would allow out-of-state IDs to be used when purchasing alcohol, which will help our tourism industry. It may sound unbelievable, but a retailer, restaurant or bar is not legally allowed to accept an out-of-state driver’s license for the purchase of alcohol. We are the only state in the United States that does not allow this. By the way, cannabis dispensaries can accept out-of-state IDs.

That’s it, nothing more. This initiative was designed to be a common-sense compromise that updates Massachusetts liquor laws in a manner in which everyone will have a even playing field to compete! Question 3 is a win-win.

Your local retailer asks you to vote yes on 3.

— Ryan Maloney, owner, Julio’s Liquor Store

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