On Tuesday, Massachusetts voters were asked to vote for or against Question 3. A “yes” vote meant:
- Beer and wine would be allowed in up to 18 retail stores per licensee/company – an increase of 9 stores per licensee/company
- Beer, wine, and spirits would have been allowed in 7 retail stores per licensee/company – a decrease of 2 stores per licensee/company
- Alcohol sales at self-checkout would be prohibited
- Out-of-state driver’s licenses would become an approved form of ID
- An increase in the sales base upon which fines are calculated from
When the votes were tabulated, it was declared that MA voters were NOT in favor of these changes. For the time being, retail stores with beer/wine/spirits will continue to be capped at 9 locations per licensee/company. I expect to see the issue of store caps raised again though in regular legislative sessions in the next year or two.
- Proposition 124: retail liquor stores would be able to expand beyond 3 locations per licensee/company
- Proposition 125: grocery stores would be able to sell wine
- Proposition 126: retailers can outsource delivery to a 3rd parties, and cocktails-to-go would become a permanent rule
With 86% of the votes counted:
- Prop 124 was firmly voted down. Retail liquor stores will continue to be capped at 3 locations per licensee/company.
- Prop 125 is still too close to call, but the “no” votes are ahead by approx. 1,500. If this result holds, grocery stores will continue to sell only beer unless the licensee/company becomes eligible for the rare beer/wine/spirits permits.
- Prop 126 was firmly voted down. This means that retailers must still use their own employees to deliver alcohol to consumers and that cocktails-to-go is set to expire on July 1, 2025. Again though, I expect to see both matters resurface in future legislation.
So, no. There was not an “alcohol wave” in the United States on election day.
But I always enjoy talking about this fantastic industry, so I welcome all comments and questions at [email protected].