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More Liberalized Wine Regulation in Oklahoma?

Current reforms proposed by legislators in Oklahoma call for a more liberalized regulation of liquor and wine sales in Oklahoma. The state, the last state to legalize liquor drinking and previously one of the most conservative in terms of alcohol regulation, shows several attempts to modernize its laws. Senator Clark Jolley and other lawmakers filed many bills in favor of more flexible alcohol laws, such as allowing wine and strong beer sales in grocery and convenience stores and even allowance of direct shipment to consumers.

The proposals, if passed into laws, require a change in the Oklahoma Constitution but would entail a big change for alcohol sales in the state. “Currently, grocery and convenience stores only can sell low-point beer; liquor retailers only can sell non-refrigerated wine; liquor and beer and consumers cannot receive direct shipments of wine from wineries or other businesses.” (See Oklahoma Liquor Law Changes Proposed.) Whereas instituting these reforms would call for the change of business models among smaller alcohol retailers and distributors, the possible economic benefits derived from such legislation is maximal in comparison to contemporary regulations of Oklahoma. (See It’s Time Oklahomans Drank to Liquor Law Changes.)

What is most exciting about Oklahoma’s liquor law reform, from its full perspective, is the possible allowance of direct shipment. With (at least) four of the thirteen non-direct shipment states looking to change legislation, it is possible that the United States is about to see a big change among direct shipment laws.

Lindsey A. Zahn


Lindsey is the founder and author of On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog. She is an alcohol beverage and food attorney and is admitted to the New York State Bar.

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