A06989 Summary:

COSPNSRHyndman, Williams, Cunningham, Jean-Pierre, Paulin, Epstein, Septimo, Reyes, O'Donnell, Ramos, Zinerman, Mikulin, Flood, Walker
Amd 3, 75, 83, 100 & 102, add 79-e, ABC L
Establishes supermarket wine licenses to sell from the licensed premises wine in sealed containers for consumption off such premises.
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A06989 Committee Votes:

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A06989 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the alcoholic beverage control law, in relation to establishing supermarket wine licenses   PURPOSE: To allow certain off premises sales locations to sell wine in addition to their existing alcohol sales of beer, cider, and wine products.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill creates a new definition of supermarket for purposes of estab- lishing a supermarket wine license. This license would only be available to full-service grocery stores that are primarily engaged in the sale of food (at least 65% of sales from food-related products), already have a license for off premises beer sales, and are more than five thousand square feet. Applicants would pay a one-time franchise fee of ten thou- sand dollars per location. There would also be an annual fee for main- taining such licenses that is based on the licensee's total sales of wine in the prior year. Sales of New York wines would not be included, thereby providing an incentive to promote and sell New York wines.   JUSTIFICATION: New York's restriction on the sale of wine in supermarkets can be traced back to the era of Prohibition. While many laws have been updated to reflect modern times, consumers are still stuck making multiple trips to different stores for groceries and wine. This anachronistic model provides no consumer protections, but instead protects an entrenched monopoly that is to the detriment of convenient access for consumers. If consumers can be trusted to buy beer in supermarkets, they should be given the option to also purchase wine with their groceries as well. A January 2023 Siena poll found that 76% of New Yorkers support the sale of wine in grocery stores and 86% supported modernizing NY laws on wine sales to create more opportunities for NY wineries and grape producers to sell their products. New York is the only major wine-producing state that does not allow wine to be sold in grocery stores- unlike our larg- est competitors California, Washington, and Oregon- and New York's wineries will significantly benefit from increased distribution in supermarkets under this bill. Currently, more than forty states allow for the sale of wine in super- markets. In the states where wine is sold in grocery stores, such as Florida, liquor stores still exist and thrive. Allowing supermarkets to sell wine is simply about consumer access and ease, while also striking a balance - not including liquor - which ensures there will always be a market for traditional liquor stores. These traditional liquor stores will also likely continue to offer wines beyond what a supermarket can dedicate floor space to. The requirement for 65% of sales to be food-related will exclude national big box retailers and superstores (which may sell some food, but primarily are general goods retailers with significant buying power). Additionally, the bill's proposed minimum square foot threshold of 5,000 square feet would ensure that only full-service grocery stores are included, and not thousands of smaller convenience stores, gas station quick marts, drug stores, etc. This legislation also seeks to incentivize the sale of New York made wines by providing reductions in the stores' annual fees for New York wines sold. The focus on New York wines will greatly boost New York wineries and provide a steady stream of new customers for locally made products.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State, but there is expected increased revenue from applica- tion and license fees.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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