Massachusetts Question 3

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by mrz200, Oct 19, 2022.

  1. mrz200

    mrz200 (0) Jul 11, 2013 Massachusetts

    one of the smaller craft stores I follow - Howes in Middleton, which is fantastic btw - posted last week to vote no.

    one of the larger ones that we all know & love - Julio's in Westborough - emailed today to vote yes.

    Total Wine has made headlines by putting their own $$$ into the opposition to it.

    didn't expect to see Howes & Total Wine on the same side of this, which has me thoroughly confused.
    Ryanwithacomb likes this.
  2. mhull

    mhull (318) Apr 11, 2008 Massachusetts

    Yankee Spirits also pushing for a yes vote. I think it gives the opportunity for the bigger players to own multiple licenses i.e. locations but I could be wrong.
    mrz200 likes this.
  3. mrz200

    mrz200 (0) Jul 11, 2013 Massachusetts

    that was my understanding as well, but there must be some nuance I'm missing that makes it worthwhile for total wine to be against it.
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden (884) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Are Total Wine stores in MA corporate-owned or are they operated by franchisees?
  5. mhull

    mhull (318) Apr 11, 2008 Massachusetts

    They're corporate owned with apparently 7 locations in MA (max allowed today). Seems like this passing would help them open new locations.
  6. woody_81

    woody_81 (30) Sep 15, 2022 Massachusetts

    I was initially really confused as to why Total Wine would oppose this ballot question. Here is what this question would do from Ballotpedia:
    • incrementally increase the combined number of retail beer and wine licenses and all alcoholic beverage licenses an establishment could own from no more than nine in 2022 to no more than 18 by 2031;
    • limit the maximum number of licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages an establishment could own to seven;
    • prohibit in-store automated or self-checkout sales of alcohol;
    • change the formula used to calculate fines by using gross profits on all retail sales rather than the gross profits on the sale of alcohol; and
    • add out-of-state driver's licenses to the list of approved identification under the State Liquor Control Act.
    I think Total Wine mostly opposes bullet point number 2. I also think this question is a way for small retailers to allow for this expansion of liquor licenses over the next decade as a way of heading off a potential larger increase in licenses or potentially doing away with limits altogether in the future.
    Rug, kp7, AlcahueteJ and 1 other person like this.
  7. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ (916) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Maybe I'm just dumb, but these seem contradictory.
    Rug likes this.
  8. woody_81

    woody_81 (30) Sep 15, 2022 Massachusetts

    There are 2 types of retail licenses that would be affected: 1)beer and wine only license and 2)all alcoholic beverage license. So one retailer could have a total of 18 of both license types, but only 7 of the 18 could be all alcoholic beverage licenses.
    Rug, seakayak and AlcahueteJ like this.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa (964) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It reads to me that if Total Wine wanted to they could have only seven stores that are liquor, beer and wine but they could have more stores that only sell beer & wine.

    The Total Wine & More stores that I have been in have been of the liquor, beer and wine type.

    I would think that Total Wine & More would prefer to be able to open more than seven liquor, beer and wine stores in MA.


    P.S. Woody beat me to it above.
    AlcahueteJ and woody_81 like this.
  10. JimmieFrisbee

    JimmieFrisbee (358) May 21, 2008 Massachusetts

    This is similar to what I've heard -- that bigger retailers are lobbying for eliminating restrictions on number of licenses all together, so that this is sort of heading it off as a compromise, and getting some things they would want: incrementally increasing the limit (instead of eliminating them entirely and all at once), making fines larger for grocery stores (because fines are based on all sales instead of alcohol sales only), and eliminating self-checkout, which smaller places likely wouldn't do but may allow larger places to cut costs and there for undercut prices smaller places can offer.

    I'm not in the know, but that's more or less what I've heard, and it seems to make reasonable enough sense to me.
    woody_81 likes this.
  11. Rysk22

    Rysk22 (0) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

  12. juliolugo

    juliolugo (314) Jun 22, 2015 Massachusetts

    oof. i do that almost every week, lol.
  13. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy (702) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    Hah, I didn't even know of self-checkout sales of alcohol being allowed in MA in the first place. But as an out-of-stater, other than breweries I really only go to Yankee Spirits, Julio's or Wegmans for my beer purchases in the state. Wegmans is typically the only place that asks for my ID EVERY time, so they should be safe with respect to bullet #4.
    Rug likes this.
  14. MrEff

    MrEff (180) Mar 21, 2017 Massachusetts

    Last bump before the election. I'm still unclear on which way I will vote, or I might just skip the question. What are people voting for? Yes or No?
  15. juliolugo

    juliolugo (314) Jun 22, 2015 Massachusetts

  16. jamvt

    jamvt (355) Aug 5, 2005 Massachusetts

    redbill likes this.
  17. kp7

    kp7 (277) Feb 8, 2021 Massachusetts

    I went with no. Moderate expansion of licenses: fine. No self checkout and OKing the use if out of state IDs: good. Tying fines to a percentage of full store profits: come on. One of my locals is a major grocery retailer. I'm concerned that if question 3 passes they won't want to deal with the hassle of either paying a huge, outsized fine or having to pull all alcohol for a time and would instead just stop selling at all.

    On a broader note, something this complex shouldn't be left to a ballot question. When in doubt vote no and tell your legislators to do their jobs and come up with a new law.
    Rug, zirconium, dele and 2 others like this.
  18. MrEff

    MrEff (180) Mar 21, 2017 Massachusetts

    No on 3 is the winner, with 55% of the vote (with 95% of the votes counted).
    Rug likes this.
  19. redbill

    redbill (148) Nov 29, 2018 Massachusetts

    That's most likely what will happen now, and the big corps will throw their money at the lawmakers to get what's best for them.
    braineater likes this.
  20. mrmattosgood

    mrmattosgood (494) Nov 6, 2010 Canada (BC)

    Totally normal system here in America.

    Love the politicians whose previous careers were lawyers (a well-paying profession, no doubt), head into the Senate (making good salaries), but are somehow worth $45 million. Both sides of the aisle. Total crooks.
  21. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid (801) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts

    I've already been using an out of state ID to buy alcohol