Chambers, Retailers and Grocers Support New Initiative Petition
to Modernize Wine and Beer Laws
OKLAHOMA CITY (March 3, 2016) – Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom (OCF) has filed an initiative petition to allow sales of regular-strength beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores in Oklahoma. The petition has support from Oklahoma retailers, grocers and both metro chambers.
“We encourage the state legislature to continue to support Senate Joint Resolution 68,” said Tyler Moore, OCF spokesperson. “Our initiative petition language is similar and is intended as a back-up option if the legislature does not give Oklahomans the chance to vote on modernization.”
Oklahoma is one of only five states that still requires grocery stores to sell 3.2 percent beer. Under the state’s antiquated laws, Oklahomans can’t buy wine at the grocery store or cold, regular beer in any retail store.
“As Oklahoma companies look to attract talent from around the world, our antiquated liquor laws send the wrong message,” said Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. “These changes will help attract the talent we need to be competitive, and give consumers the access they are looking for. This will also place our craft breweries in a better position to grow and compete.”
“The Tulsa Regional OneVoice Coalition made modernizing Oklahoma’s liquor laws a top priority in 2016,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Modernizing our state’s outdated adult beverage laws will encourage economic development and job growth, meet market demand from Oklahoma’s citizens, and remove an antiquated barrier to attracting talented workers to our state.”
The petition was signed by Sean Campbell, who launched Oklahomans for Modern Laws more than a decade ago, and has been the state’s leading advocate for alcohol modernization, as well as Ron Edgmon, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Grocers Association.
“Oklahomans are thirsty for change,” said Campbell, president of Oklahomans for Modern Laws. “Our antiquated, prohibition-era laws restrict consumer choice and convenience. If the legislature doesn’t act, we will activate consumers who want modernization to change Oklahoma law.”
“Customers want more choices and the convenience of buying regular beer and wine at our stores,” said Edgmon. “We strongly support giving consumers the opportunity to bring Oklahoma laws up to date at the voting booth in November.”
A strong majority of Oklahomans is ready for modernization of Oklahoma alcohol laws. In a poll conducted by Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates, Inc., 65 percent of registered voters (an all-time high) want to update Oklahoma’s liquor laws.
Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom is a growing coalition that includes individual consumers and:
- Americans for Prosperity
- Beer Distributors of Oklahoma
- Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
- Oklahoma Beer Alliance
- Oklahoma Grocers Association
- Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
- Oklahoma Retail Merchants Association
- Oklahomans for Modern Laws
- State Chamber of Oklahoma
- Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce
OCF’s petition is focused on providing the following benefits:
- More Choices and Better Selection – Because regular beer can’t be refrigerated, many local craft brewers refuse to sell their product in state.
- Convenience for Oklahomans – Oklahomans could take advantage of one-stop shopping if wine and regular beer were sold at grocery and convenience stores.
- Growth for Local Industries – Breweries, wineries and distilleries will be able to serve and sell their own products on site, growing local businesses.
- A Stronger Economy – Modern alcohol laws will increase state revenue and keep money out of other states, like Texas.
About Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom
Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom (OCF) is an organization of retailers, consumers, and free-market advocates. OCF supports common sense reform to enable Oklahoman consumers to have greater choice while increasing opportunities for Oklahoma retail businesses and communities.