NJ grocery stores fight for liquor law change

Some grocery stores in New Jersey are pushing lawmakers to change the state?s liquor license law.

Under state law, a grocery store chain can only sell alcohol in two of its stores. Many chains want the Legislature to lift the cap on how many liquor licenses one company can have.

Otto Leuschel, of Whole Foods Market, says the chain sells alcohol at its Middletown and Madison stores. However, Leuschel says the chain wants to open a wine department in its new Paramus store, which means it would have to surrender a license in another location.

Some liquor stores are against the idea of grocery stores having more licenses. Liquor store owners fear unfair competition from grocery stores selling in large volume and undercutting prices.

Opponents also believe grocery stores won?t do as good of a job of detecting underage drinkers.

A bill to change restrictions on liquor licenses is just now being debated in the state Legislature.

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