The recent editorial by The Free Press, “3.2 beer: A Minnesota staple fades away,” repeats several myths regarding supermarkets and convenience stores that “have long been limited to 3.2 beer.”

Grocery and convenience stores can already sell beer, wine and liquor (in separate stores on location). As long as they follow the existing smart and balanced liquor store laws, there is no legal impediment. In fact, over 161 stores in Minnesota already do, including Cub Foods in Mankato, Hy-Vee in Mankato and Sam’s Club in Mankato.

These stores — in every corner of the state, urban and rural — abide by current regulations to avoid minor access and provide consumer convenience.

Easier access to alcohol, a controlled substance, shouldn’t available to those under 21. Liquor stores typically prohibit anyone under 21 from entering the store and employ people over age 21.

Grocery and convenience stores — that want alcohol on regular shelves next to other non-controlled products — have many employees under 21 and allow all ages to enter their facilities.

In addition, there is no evidence consumers are having difficulty obtaining alcohol. Access to alcohol is not an issue for Minnesotans.

Lastly, beer manufacturers have not indicated they plan to stop producing 3.2 beer. In fact, low alcohol beer is an increasing trend.

Consumers currently have unprecedented product availability and choice, from 3.2 beer to craft brews, wine, and liquor. Changes in our proven system could have serious repercussions for consumers.

Tony Chesak

Executive Director

Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association

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