Oklahoma Businesses Experience Hold Up In Preparations For New Liquor Laws

Monday, July 16th 2018, 8:46 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Convenience and grocery stores across the state are quickly getting ready for when new liquor laws go into effect October 1st. 

However, many are saying the process to get the new licenses has stalled and it may mean they won't be able to sell beer this fall.

Once the law goes into effect, stores will be able to sell high point beer. But to get their license, they need a Certificate of Compliance from the city where they are located, and that seems to be the hold up.

OnCue stores across the state have been getting ready to sell high point beer for months.  A process they say has been going smoothly everywhere expect Oklahoma City where they have only received 9 of the 17 Certificates of Compliance needed to get their license. 

An OnCue spokesperson says it's very frustrating.

And according to the Oklahoma Beer Alliance, the ABLE commission, who is in charge of issuing the licenses, tells them they are very concerned.

“They’re telling us they have hundreds of licenses held up waiting for this and it’s a state wide issue, not in any particular area,” Oklahoma Beer Alliance President Lisette Barnes said.

The Certificate of Compliance indicates the store is in compliance with all zoning laws, safety, fire and health codes.  In the 14 counties that were once dry, the municipalities may have to pass new zoning laws to comply with the new law.  But with only three months left until the law takes effect, the ABLE commission is now worried about meeting the deadline.

“It was already going to be a tremendous effort to get all these licenses issued before October first and then having this major hiccup come along that’s something everyone didn’t predict as a problem,” Barnes said.

In Oklahoma City, it is a lengthy process to get those certificates. It must go through police, zoning, planning, and a fire department inspection. 

The city is holding a forum for businesses on this issue and others dealing with the new liquor laws August 21st at the Cox Convention Center.