Not only do Colorado voters decide on the deciders during this year’s large and varied midterm 2022 election, they play legislators, too.
Colorado regularly offers voters a chance to create policy and law from the ballot box. This year’s variety of proposals is no exception.
Here’s a part of a series of Sentinel Colorado Editorial Board recommendations to voters for this year.
PROPS 124, 125, 126: Vote ‘yes’ on liquor inevitable proposals
Voters should mark a reluctant yes on Prop 125, opening wine sales in grocery stores, and offer up easy yesses on props 124 and 126.
Colorado liquor retailers who warned that full-strength beer in grocery stores would lead to the demise of generations of mom-and-pop liquor store businesses across the state were mostly right.
While the 2019 full-strength beer in grocery stores change has not, so far, led to widespread small-store closures, it has led to Proposition 125.
That ballot measure would allow grocery stores to sell wine in addition to beer at any of their stores currently boasting beer licenses.Local liquor stores have seen a serious loss of revenue with grocery stores eating into their beer sales, according to several industry sources, yet they hang on. Losing as much or more in wine sales may be the tipping point for many small liquor businesses, yet the change is inevitable.
Consumers demand the convenience, and in some cases competitive pricing. Giant, deep-pocket grocery corporations will continue funding these ballot questions until they win.
There’s no shortage of red-flags here as industry giants Safeway-Albertsons and Kroger talk about a mega merger. In addition, allowing wine sales begs the question about why stop there?
No doubt, voters will someday decide whether all alcohol should be available at the stores, and why not cannabis products, too?
Eliminating small stores creates downstream control of innovation. Small breweries and vinters, unable to vie with bigger operations for new craft brews or the state’s budding wine industry, won’t have easy access to markets anymore.Putting off the inevitable, however, doesn’t help anyone. Vote yes on Prop 125 and pick up that bottle of cheap white wine at the grocery store when you’re in a hurry, but take the time to seek out Colorado’s artisan beers and wines and encourage better selection in local liquor stores.
As for associated measures, propositions 124 and 126, these are easy yeses.
Proposition 124 merely puts local liquor stores on parity with grocery giants, by removing unfair restrictions on how many stores can be owned in a state.
Proposition 126 only perpetuates a service made popular during the pandemic, allowing patrons to purchase “to go” or delivered drinks and alcoholic beverages from restaurants. That’s nothing more than common sense convenience and good business for everyone.