The Arkansas General Assembly can be a busy place when it’s in session, and sometimes new laws can get overlooked. One such is Act 571 of 2019.
The act changes the ratio at which the state can issue liquor store permits from 1 per 5,000 residents in a county to 7,500. “Essentially, what we were trying to do was increase the value of all the liquor stores’ permits,” said John Akins, co-owner of Legacy Wine & Spirits of Little Rock and president of the United Beverage Retailers of Arkansas.
On Oct. 1, 2017, the state began allowing grocery stores to sell wine, a development that hurt sales at liquor stores in Arkansas, Akins said. “So one of the things we wanted to do was try and increase the value of our stores by making sure that more stores couldn’t open,” he said.
He said the proposal didn’t get much opposition.