Liquor Control Board will continue carrying 99% of product through May

 

Shortly after the passage of 1183, the WRA began its work to implement the policies voters approved.

Of immediate and greatest concern during the transition were:

  • That supply would remain available, allowing businesses to continue running as usual until the transition was complete
  • That licensees had alternative options for acquiring product while the state remained the sole supplier of spirits.

The WRA initially voiced concern over the Liquor Control Board’s proposed changes and supplier buy-back agreements. These agreements would:

    • Limit the amount of product to those vendors that agreed to buy back their inventory by the time the LCB is required to stop operating retail stores, beginning June 1
    • End all abilities to special order product

The WRA asked the Liquor Control Board to reconsider the proposed changes and hold off until March 1 to adopt any proposals that would impact licensees, and short of that, allow for a process for licensees to special order through March 1, while the state maintained its exclusive control over the sale of spirits.

The Liquor Control Board listened to our concerns and worked with suppliers over the past several weeks to develop a final proposal and plan to divest its activity in the retail of spirits. Wednesday, the Liquor Control Board informed us that vendors representing 99% of listed product agreed to the terms of the supplier Buy Back Agreement. Additionally, the Liquor Control Board informed us that licensees will still be able to special order product when purchasing a minimum of one case. Here is a link to the items that will need to be special ordered by the case: http://www.liq.wa.gov/publications/LiqPurchasing/Price%20Book/SpecialOrderPriceList.pdf.  Items marked with a “B” in the merchandise symbol column will be available by the case.

The WRA is grateful for the work of the Liquor Control Board and staff to reach this outcome, and will continue to partner with the board through the transition period.