TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas House has voted to give grocery and convenience stores the right to sell full-strength beer in exchange for liquor stores’ right to sell more non-alcoholic products.
The bill passed 80 to 45 Thursday. Most of the opposition came from lawmakers who were concerned that competition with large grocery chains would put liquor stores out of business.
Lawmakers have debated the issue for years. But associations representing some liquor stores and some grocery and convenience stores found a potential compromise. Under the bill, groceries could sell beer with as much as 6 percent alcohol. Now they can sell cereal malt beverages with no more than 3.2 percent alcohol. Liquor stores could sell merchandise such as mixers, shot glasses, lottery tickets and cigarettes.
The bill now goes to the Senate.