MEDFORD, Ore. — Regulators want state lawmakers to modernize the liquor control system currently in place.
While the current system in place benefits local liquor distillers and distributors, liquor store owners said the current regulations are strangling business, and grocers want to add spirits to their shelves.
On Friday, the commission was given the go-ahead to explore three new paths for liquor regulation reform. One of those paths would allow liquor to be sold at grocers.
The hybrid model would keep the current state liquor system, but allow grocery stores at least 10,000 feet to stock spirits. The current state liquor system would stay in place, and restaurants and bars would buy from liquor stores.
Another approach involves privatization of liquor sales. This would involve scrapping the current system and allowing private market distributors to sell liquor to anyone with a license.
Lastly, small tweaks to the current laws would be made, which would improve compensation for liquor stores and boost web presence and online sales. Currently, liquor store owners only receive an 8.8 percent cut of liquor sales.
“So at some point and time no matter how much more liquor they sell they can’t make any more money,” said OLCC Chairman, Rob Patridge.”We have to change that system around… incentivize them so we can continue to optimize revenue, and they can continue to invest and put those liquor stores in the locations customers need them.”
Patridge said the hybrid model of allowing liquor sales in grocery stores would work best. He said this would increase revenue and make liquor more convenient.