HARRISBURG – Legislation creating a franchise store system for the sale of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania has been introduced in the state Senate, according to the bill’s sponsor Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).
Yaw noted that the goal of Senate Bill 548 is to expand consumer convenience, improve the long-term, financial position of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and generate significant new revenues for the Commonwealth.
“This legislation will maintain the over 600 PLCB retail outlets, retain the existing jobs and allow the PLCB to continue to control the wholesale distribution of spirits and wine,” Sen. Yaw said. “I believe this proposal builds off the incremental steps taken in Act 39 of 2016 to expand wine sales in the Commonwealth.”
Specifically, the legislation would direct the PLCB to create a franchise store system, contracting with up to 2,000 franchises by 2024 who will sell wine and spirits in the Commonwealth for off premise consumption. The nearly 900 expanded wine permit license holders will automatically be included with home distributors and other retailers being given the opportunity to apply for one of the remaining 1100 franchises.
“While this may seem like a large number of retail outlets, it provides Pennsylvania consumers with significantly fewer retail stores per capita than our neighboring states of New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware,” Sen. Yaw added.
Under the bill, the PLCB will also be required to expand their distribution system to provide delivery only to off premise licensees. The legislation would further establish a simpler, more transparent and fairer markup regime for all products.
Senate Bill 548 has been referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee for consideration.
Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff