Supermarkets and other retailers start selling liquor in Washington State today! The final legal obstacle was overcome yesterday when those who benefited from the old patronage system lost their appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.
Washington has been a “control state” for almost eighty years. So people could only buy liquor like vodka and whiskey at state-owned stores. And even though we could buy beer and wine at grocery stores, archaic rules prevented them from using modern retailing practices. Retailers weren’t allowed to manage their inventory in warehouses, for example, and producers weren’t allowed to offer quantity discounts. Both were forced to go through privileged distributors.
Most of that is gone now that voters approved, and the court upheld, Initiative 1183 – I’ll drink to that!
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