PINE BELT (WDAM) - Two bills affecting the sale of alcohol in Mississippi are under consideration.
One bill ends the prohibition restricting Mississippi's microbreweries from selling their products on site, which means craft beer fans could tour a Mississippi brewery and buy their favorite flavor before they leave.
South Carolina passed similar legislation a few years ago, and the number of craft brewers in that state has steadily increased.
The second bill allows wine sales in grocery stores instead of only in liquor stores. Similar legislation failed last year when legislators caved to the liquor store lobby instead of standing up for consumers.
Currently in our state, when it comes to purchasing wine, customer choice is limited to liquor stores which have limited competition and little incentive to be customer-friendly. Mississippians living near neighboring states can easily cross state lines, visit their favorite grocery store, and purchase both groceries and wines.
It's past time for state leaders to review the structure of the state's Alcohol Beverage Control division and the antiquated laws regarding alcohol sales. These bills would lead to more jobs, increased tourism, improved convenience, lower wine prices and more choices for consumers. The legislature should consider approving these bills.