Bills have been filed in both the Texas Senate and Texas House to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell ready-to-drink cocktails seven days a week.
Texas law currently permits ready-to-drink spirits-based cocktails to be sold in liquor stores, which must close on Sunday. Grocery and convenience stores are permitted to sell only beer and wine on Sundays.
State Sen. Kelly Handcock, who is the prime sponsor of the Senate bill, says he wants to keep "free market principles at the core of Texas' economic success. As industries innovate and new products become staples in the marketplace, it only makes sense for us to take a look at ways government can reduce regulatory red tape,” Hancock said.
Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas told the Dallas Morning News this would allow children as young as 16 to sell hard liquor. Currently, the minimum age to sell liquor is 21. “There is no great consumer demand to make this drastic change to Texas liquor law,” President Tom Spilman said in an email.
In considering the expanded access, Texas would be joining a growing movement, Chris Swonger, president/ceo, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., said.
“States all across the U.S. are taking a look at beverage laws to ensure consumers of these products are being treated fairly, and Texas consumers should not get left behind,” he said, adding: “Legislative leaders in Texas should not be picking winners and losers in the marketplace.”