Bill would further expand store alcohol sales in Pennsylvania


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bill in the state Legislature aims to expand beer and wine sales at Pennsylvania grocery and convenience stores.

​House Bill 1644 was the topic of discussion at a hearing of the House Liquor Control Committee on Tuesday.​​

The bill would create a consumer convenience permit that grocery and convenience stores could purchase.​​ Retailers with the permit would be able to sell beer and wine at additional registers, place wine and beer products anywhere within the store, hold educational or cooking classes featuring alcoholic products for sale, and make individual sales of beer containing more than 192 ounces and wine containing more than 3,000 milliliters.

​​”I really believe that it takes steps to modernize what many would call an archaic Pennsylvania system of liquor laws,” said Rep. Matt Dowling, the sponsor of House Bill 1644. “It makes retail purchases easier for your average taxpayer by giving them a wider selection of retailers to possibly choose from.”

​​But some who testified are not in favor of the bill. They argue it could make regulation more difficult and hurt the economic benefits of the current system.​​

“It contributes more than three-quarters of a billion dollars, the current wine and spirit system, to benefit the taxpayers of Pennsylvania,” said Wendell Young, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776. “Everything you do here chips away at that.”

​​If the bill passes, applicants will be required to renew the permit every year.​

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