PLCB Approves 6-Pack Sales At Gas Stations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Today, Governor Tom Wolf applauded the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for “freeing the six-pack” in gas stations by approving nine applications permitting businesses with appropriate protections to sell up to 192 ounces of malt or brewed beverages.

“’Freeing the six-pack’ will make the commonwealth more inviting for customers and businesses,” said Governor Tom Wolf.

“I applaud the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for approving these applications and respectfully ask that they approve similar subsequent applications that otherwise meet PLCB standards in order to improve customer service and convenience for Pennsylvania.”

Yesterday, Governor Wolf sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board requesting that they “free the six-pack.” A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

In the letter, Governor Wolf said, “Allowing malt or brewed beverages to be sold at gas stations under appropriate circumstances is an important step toward our shared goal of ‘freeing the six-pack’ and increasing convenience and improving customer satisfaction for all Pennsylvanians.”

PLCB code prohibits for liquor licenses to be granted at places where gasoline is sold; however, a recent Commonwealth court ruling affirmed that alcohol can be sold on the same property, if the point of sale is separate.

The Malt Beverage Distributors Association (MBDA), a major opponent of the move, issued a statement today in response to the governor’s stance on the issue.

“Today the MBDA sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf and the members of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board expressing our extreme disappointment with the Governor’s support for beer sales at gas stations despite the fact that an appeal is being considered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court,” Pistella said. “Governor Wolf never made mention that the appeal even existed. So, either the Governor is unaware of the appeal’s existence, or he doesn’t even care what the Supreme Court may decide.”

“His attempt to tamper with the administrative process, using incomplete information, on the day before an independent vote is being taken by the PLCB is irresponsible. Notably, one of the pending applications before the PLCB today is from a Sheetz gas station, which is also the very entity at the heart of the appeal before the Supreme Court.”

“This is now the second occasion that Governor Wolf has entered into agreements that impact our members without consulting with MBDA representatives. In the past, when governors have made similar deals they always reach out to the groups affected to discuss this issue and we are disappointed we weren’t contacted.”

“The hardworking small business owners who make up the MBDA are only seeking a fair hearing on the facts regarding this matter and it is disappointing that Governor Wolf is attempting to put his thumb down on the scales of justice to assist large corporations seeking to run Pennsylvania small businesses out of business.”

The Commonwealth court is expected to rule on the decision in the Fall.

Photo courtesy Pabst Blue Ribbon.

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