Changes to Alcohol Retail Licensing Initiative Appearing on MA Ballot in November
After surviving a challenge to Attorney General Healey’s certification this summer, the “Changes to Alcohol Retail Licensing Initiative” will appear on the ballot this November as Massachusetts Question 3.
Backed by the Massachusetts Package Stores Association, Question 3 would incrementally increase the statewide limit on the combined number of retail alcohol licenses an establishment could have, which includes licenses for all alcoholic beverages and for wine, malt and beer. The measure proposes the following limit increases:
- from 9 licenses to 12 on January 1, 2023,
- from 12 licenses to 15 on January 1, 2027, and
- from 15 licenses to 18 on January 1, 2031.
Question 3 would decrease the number of full liquor licenses allowed by an individual or corporation from nine to seven, unless the individual or corporation has more than seven full liquor licenses as of December 31, 2022, while progressively increasing the number of beer and wine licenses from nine to 18, minus any full liquor licenses owned by the corporation or individual. The cap would allow for a company to hold a combination of “all alcohol” and “wine and malt” beverage licenses, subject to the new ownership limits.
Stay tuned for the ballot results.