California C-stores and Groceries won't need a special license to sell spirits-based ready-to-drink cocktails under a bill approved by the state Senate and sent to the Assembly.
“Right now, these low alcohol spirits products are much harder to get in California than their beer and wine counterparts, which makes no sense given they have the same alcohol content,” said Adam Smith, vp-state government relations, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
Currently, California grocery and convenience stores need a unique and expensive license to carry spirits RTDs, even though they have the same alcohol content as their beer- and wine-based counterparts. In California, beer- and wine-based RTDs are sold in more than 28,000 locations, while spirits RTDs are only sold in about 14,000 locations. The proposed bill helps correct this disparity by allowing spirits RTDs to be sold under the same license used for beer and wine, uplifting thousands of local businesses.
“There is absolutely no difference in the alcohol content of a five percent ABV beer-, wine- or spirits-based RTD,” said Smith. “There is no reason to treat these products differently.”