Beer, wine may be sold at small stores near you

Capital News Service
LANSING — Proposed changes to Michigan’s alcohol licensing regulations have some residents up in arms, but supporters say those in the business of selling booze could benefit from looser requirements. The Office of Regulatory Reinvention’s Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee has recommended changes to the Liquor Control Commission in hopes of making regulations more business-friendly and easier to comply with. The committee of business owners and citizens is part of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and was created to address discrepancies between an aging framework of liquor control and the realities of modern sales and consumption, said Phil Hendges, an attorney with the Office of Regulatory Reinvention. One aspect of the plan would let more gas stations and convenience stores sell alcoholic products by easing liquor control standards. Currently, the Liquor Control Code mandates convenience stores and gas stations to maintain an inventory of $250,000 or more — excluding gas or alcoholic beverages — to be eligible for a liquor license.