Brownback signs legislation to allow strong beer sales in grocery, convenience stores

Liquor stores will be allowed to broaden non-alcohol inventories

Marc LaVoie
April 19, 2017 - 7:12 am

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law Tuesday to allow Kansas grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer beginning in 2019.

Current law allows non-liquor stores to sell only cereal malt beverages that contain no more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight. The new bill will allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer with up to six percent alcohol.

For years, attempts at loosening the law were hampered by fears that grocery stores would put liquor retailers out of business. A compromise was reached to allow liquor stores to sell other products, like tobacco, lottery tickets, ice and mixers.

Kansas has a long history of temperance and strict liquor laws, including a ban on alcohol sales on Sundays. Kansas was a 'dry' state from 1881 to 1948. National alcohol prohibition lasted only 14 years, from 1920 to 1933.

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