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Maryland liquor stores would be hit hard if groceries can sell alcohol, too | READER COMMENTARY

Chuck Ferrar, former owner of Bay Ridge Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, holds a growler, a refillable container for beer. File.
Chuck Ferrar, former owner of Bay Ridge Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, holds a growler, a refillable container for beer. File. (By Joshua McKerrow, Staff, Capital Gazette)

Adam Borden and Tom Saquella are right that Maryland will have a large budget deficit to account for following the onset of COVID-19. However, the idea that including beer and wine in grocery stores would be a solution is misguided (“It’s time Maryland allows beer and wine be sold at grocery, drug and convenience stores,” Oct. 5).

Their claims that liquor stores — a large revenue creator for the state — will not be adversely affected is false. Take, for example, Tennessee. According to a Distilled Spirits Council of the United States analysis, when Tennessee began allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores, package store revenues fell for 18 months in a row.

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Maryland package stores can expect to experience much bigger losses if the state moves to include both beer and wine sales in grocery stores. The Maryland General Assembly should protect critical revenue and Maryland’s small businesses by opposing the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores.

Chuck Ferrar, Annapolis

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