Retail liquor businesses concerned with recent ruling
A recent district court decision ruling that a law pertaining to liquor distribution, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Kevin Still in May, is unconstitutional has local stores concerned about the law and the future of their business.
On Aug. 12, Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince ruled that Senate Bill 608 violates the state’s constitution and blocked the implementation of the new law.
The bill would have required the top 25 wine or spirit brands, which would be ranked by sales, be made available to all wholesale distributors within Oklahoma on the same price basis.
SB 608 was drafted in response to perceived issues in Article 28A of the Oklahoma Constitution, which was created following the vote on State Question 792 in 2016. Specifically, SB 608 sought to undo changes made by SQ 792 to the state’s alcohol distribution system.
Under the system prior to SQ 792, manufacturers were required to make their products available to all wholesale distributors in Oklahoma. SQ 792 allowed wine and spirit manufacturers to designate individual wholesale distributors. SB 608 sought a return to system more akin to the previous system.