The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments this month on behalf of the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Grocers Association challenging petition that they refer to as “unconstitutional.” They say the proposal provides liquor stores an unconstitutional advantage over grocery stores. When business disputes like this come up, it is important to have a well-informed Oklahoma business litigation attorney on your side.

The Petition   

Back in May, State Question 785, a vote of the people proposed by the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma, was struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The proposal would have permitted grocery stores to sell wine, with a few restrictions. Additionally, it would have allowed the same items that are sold in grocery and convenience stores to be sold in retail package stores, as well as small brewers, to sell their products at trade shows, festivals, and breweries. The Oklahoma Supreme Court invalidated State Question 785, however, before the people could vote.
The current petition, State Question 789, is an initiative seeking to modernize Oklahoma’s liquor laws and amend the state constitution. This petition would permit strong beer and wine to be sold in convenience and grocery stores statewide. Additionally, the measure would allow liquor stores to have sales of up to ten percent for non-alcoholic items. State Question 789 would pertain to grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, and supercenters.

The Argument Against State Question 789

There are several arguments against State Question 789. Those who challenge the petition say that it violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution because it demonstrates unequal treatment for corporations – both in-state and out-of-state – that want to hold a wine and spirits wholesalers license and it limits the number of retail spirits licenses licensees may hold, while imposing no limit on the amount of retail wine and beer licenses a licensee may hold. Challengers say that the petition discriminates against people who hold retail spirits licenses, because they can only hold one license for selling wine and beer, leaving them at an inequitable competitive disadvantage. The petition would also limit the amount of sales of non-alcoholic items for liquor stores to no more than 10 percent of monthly sales, however, it does not limit establishments with retail wine and beer licenses.

We Are Here To Help

Business litigation arguments require the assistance of knowledgeable Oklahoma business dispute attorneys. Contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Robles, at 405-232-7980, if you need an Oklahoma business lawyer to help you handle a dispute, contract, or any other business related litigation.