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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 3, 2019 11:11 AM
From: Senator Patrick J. Stefano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Spirit Expanded Permits
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation which will permit businesses holding a valid distributor liquor license to apply for a “spirit expanded permit.”

Following the passage of Act 39 of 2016, businesses with a valid restaurant or hotel liquor license were permitted to sell wine. Although this law represented a historic step forward for improved consumer convenience, spirits were excluded from the legislation.

It is my belief that the time has come to permit such an expansion to spirits as well. In order to keep parity in the market place, this legislation will offer spirit expanded permits to current distributor liquor license holders who currently only sell malt beverages.

With just over 600 state stores, Pennsylvania has only 0.66 outlets selling spirits per capita, far below the 2.4 spirits outlets per capita seen on average in other control states. This lack of consumer convenience costs the commonwealth revenue and contributes to lost sales especially in counties bordering other states. Pennsylvania is in need of more outlets to service its population but the liquor control board lacks the funds to take on the additional overhead required to do this.

This legislation will comprise many of the same components that are in place regarding the wine expanded permits. A spirit expanded permit will cost $2,000 for the initial fee, with an annual renewal fee of 2% of the cost of spirits purchased from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Distributor licensees already sell alcohol in stores staffed by RAMP trained employees that are not accessible to unsupervised minors. This makes them an ideal extension of our efforts to responsibly sell spirit products in Pennsylvania.

I sincerely hope that you will consider joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Jake Gery in my office at jgery@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB916