Why we support Proposition 124
Although Proposition 124 maintains elements of protectionism and flagrantly discriminates against new entries into the liquor market, on net, it expands freedom by permitting many existing liquor license holders to increase their number of licensed establishments over time.
The number of licenses potentially is unlimited starting in 2037, subject to other requirements such as keeping a minimum distance away from other liquor stores. This measure modifies language introduced by Senate Bill 2016-197.
The measure changes treatment of retail liquor stores to match that of so-called liquor-licensed drugstores in terms of number of licenses allowed. Per existing statute, the measure applies only to “a retail liquor store licensed on or before January 1, 2016.” Licenses can be transferred, subject to various restrictions.
Although Prop. 124 does not come close to establishing a free market in liquor sales in Colorado, it moves a step in that direction. Because the measure changes statutes, a future legislature could fix its shortcomings.