TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 26, 2017) – The walls separating Florida’s supermarkets and big box stores from their liquor-store annexes could soon be coming down, as state lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow beer and wine retailers throughout the state to add liquor to their shelves.
Under S.B 106, passed today by the Florida House, the addition of hard alcohol to the shelves of everyone from big box stores to larger gas stations will occur in phases over the next five years. Stores still would be prohibited to sell liquor within 1,000 feet of schools and required to keep “mini” bottles stored behind the counter.
“It is important to understand that this initiative is being driven by consumer demand,” noted Christian R. Cámara, R Street’s Southeast region director. “At the end of the day, this is really about treating adults as adults.”
The measure is sponsored by state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, and Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah. Having already passed the state Senate, it moves now to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.
“I applaud Florida lawmakers for finally repealing an arcane law that for too long imposed unnecessary expenses on businesses and inconveniences on consumers,” Cámara said. “This bill will allow Florida to join the majority of states that already allow grocery stores and big box retailers to sell alcohol to willing consumers safely and responsibly. This is a commonsense piece of market-freeing legislation and I encourage Gov. Scott to sign it into law.”