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Will Colorado Grocery Stores Be Selling All Beer and Wine Soon?

Colorado’s liquor laws—some of which have their origins in Prohibition—have undergone several changes in the past few decades. Up until 1987, you could buy 3.2 beer if you were over 18. Up until 2008, liquor stores were closed on Sundays. So is the remaining law that only 3.2 beer can be sold in grocery and convenience stores also headed for an overhaul?


Proponents of the change, citing that Colorado is one of only 5 states (along with Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Minnesota) that prohibits the sale of selling wine and (full-strength) beer in grocery stores, argue for the added convenience for consumers and believe that widening the market in this way will boost craft beer sales, add jobs, and lower prices because of increased competition.


Opponents argue, well, the reverse. They fear that allowing the sale of full-strength beer and wine will be harmful to liquor stores, limit the types of craft beer that are sold, and raise prices.


From the BARS Program perspective, they have seen this in other states across the country.  Their grocery customers are very concerned about underage access to alcohol products, and will consistently shop their stores, monitoring the employees’ adherence to company carding policy.


Both sides of the argument are currently trying to gain support in order to determine which initiatives will be put on the ballot in November. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out Keep Colorado Local (the organization resisting the change) and Your Choice Colorado (the drivers of the ballot initiative).


And if you have questions about how this law could affect your business as the owner or manager of store selling age-sensitive products, please contact us at We would be happy to walk through the experiences of other customers selling beer and wine in their stores.

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