Monday, September 13, 2010

Time to Move?

While flipping thru the Whole Foods "Whole Deal" bi-monthly newsletter I spot an "article" on sale wine they are featuring.  "Wait a minute," I think.

Then I see it at the bottom..."Please note: in some governmental and geographical areas, we are not legally permitted to sell wine in our stores. Time to move?"

No, time for our Montgomery County government to privatize the sale of alcohol.


Robert said...

Not so fast there, Jerry! The County makes money selling liquor. Your taxes will have to go up or your services will have to be reduced to offset the revenue loss if liquor sales are privatized.

I'd rather have the profits go to the county to reduce the tax burden instead of going to increase Whole Foods' bottom line.

squirrelist said...

We're talking about two different things. Yes, retail LIQUOR sales are county monopolized. However, retail sale of beer and wine are not. There are plenty of private beer and wine retailers in the county. They just can't be supermarkets (with a few exceptions).

I have heard two different explanations as to why Sniders @ Forest Glen, Giant @ White Oak, Balducci's @ Georgetown Pike, and 7-Eleven @ Ellicott City can sell beer. Some people say they are grandfathered in. But the explanation I'm leaning to is that each retailer is allowed only one beer and wine licence in the state.

So the problem is not with Montgomery County acting as a distributor or private vs government owned distribution. The problem is that the STATE has extremely conservative alcohol laws that severely limit retail sales.

Anonymous said...

Squirrelist has it almost right...
Each chain store system was granted the opportunity to have one store have a county-issued license. Giant has White Oak; Safeway has Briggs Chaney, Magruders has Quince Orchard etc. Maybe a full answer could be had from the many, many pages at

Anonymous said...'s the 311 from the county web site:

squirrelist said...

Ah, so it IS Maryland who is doing this to us. Though I have to wonder if the state lifted the restriction, would MoCo keep its iron hold?

I've never understood how a liberal state such as Maryland has such restrictive alcohol laws, while conservative states like Tennessee and Virginia give you more personal freedom in areas like this. Seems backward to me.