Liquor Regulation Overview and Sunday Sales

This week the Senate Commerce Committee heard an overview from the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division of the Department of Public Safety on liquor laws and rules in Minnesota. The committee reviewed Minnesota’s laws relating to the production, distribution, and retail sale of alcoholic beverages including on- and off-sale liquor licenses, wholesale regulations, and brewpub and winery restrictions.

While not discussed in the Senate this week, the perennial issue of Sunday liquor sales is moving quickly in the House and is already receiving a lot of attention this session. Minnesota is one of only 12 states that still do not allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

A popular issue with the public, Sunday sales does not fall along party lines. Supporters argue that Minnesota is losing revenue from customers who want to buy liquor on Sundays and often travel to neighboring states on Sundays. Minnesota liquor stores in border communities are hit especially hard as they are unable to compete with stores across the border. Opponents of Sunday sales argue that small, family-owned, and municipal liquor stores would not be able to compete with larger commercial stores and would not see additional profits, but would still incur the costs of being open an extra day.

Governor Dayton has said in the past that he would not veto the bill if it reaches his desk, however, with the chair of the Senate Commerce Committee personally opposed to the measure, it is unclear whether or not the bill will receive a hearing in the Senate.

Senate DFL Media