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Minnesota Grocers Push for Permission to Sell Wine

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Grocers Association is re-submitting a proposal to the 2004 Minnesota Legislature to allow wine sales in grocery stores.

"Minnesota grocery shoppers should be allowed to purchase wine in grocery stores with the rest of their dinner items, just as customers can do in 33 other states," said Nancy Christensen, MGA executive director. "Minnesota grocers are responding to consumer demand by supporting a responsible proposal to allow wine sales in grocery stores."

The proposal would allow wine to be sold in grocery stores as is currently allowed in 33 other states, including neighboring states like Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The proposal is limited solely to wine (strong beer and hard liquor would continue to be sold only in liquor stores), and is limited to full-line grocery stores with at least 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Further, the proposal will require that grocery stores follow all current laws and regulations concerning wine sales, and will go beyond current law by instituting a Ten-Point Code of Conduct for Minnesota grocers.

MGA's Code of Conduct would require all customers to show picture identification prior to purchasing wine, create a mandatory training program for employees and supervisors, and establish a program of internal compliance checks to supplement local law enforcement efforts.

Sen. Linda Scheid (D-Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and chief author of the Wine With Dinner bill, said a recent St. Cloud State University survey showed that Minnesotans support wine sales in grocery stores by more than a two-to-one margin. "It's clear that Minnesotans think their liquor laws are outdated," Scheid said.
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