You know you're from Colorado when the phrase "Three-two beer" makes sense …
"Three-two beer" — say that anywhere outside of state lines and you're bound to turn eyebrows.
"What the fuck is that?" they'll ask.
"You know, like, grocery store beer, bro?"
Not many states outside of Colorado have the rules that we do when it comes to beer, wine and alcohol — our laws surrounding each haven't changed much since prohibition ended about fifteen million years ago, either. Big thangs could be coming soon, however, because of a compromise bill recently passed by congress.
Even with the ease of passage through both the Senate and House of Senate Bill 16-197, though, big chain grocery stores are still saying they want voters to decide on their own, which would speed up the big booze to big shelf switch even more.
The new bill, headed to Hickenlooper's desk right now, slows down the process considerably.
The bill is fucking complicated though. For whatever reason, it sets up a 20 year plan on who can buy what licenses and how many. As it stands, no company or store can have more than one liquor license in the state. It's why we have Target and King Soopers in Glendale with a massively beautiful selection of libations in just that one location of theirs, but nowhere else. Under the new bill, liquor stores will be able to purchase 4 licenses, and every 5 years grocery chains will be able to apply for more until 2037 — when all hell breaks loose.
One of the biggest "compromises" in the bill, is that if a grocery store is within 1,500 feet of an existing liquor store, it will need to purchase the license from the owner. We're guessing for lots and lots of money.
So as of right now, it's still in the air as to what exactly is going to happen in 2017. Voters still have to cast their ballots later this year. The resulting changes to laws are dependent on what happens from here on out.
We have two scenarios:
1.) Voters reject the ballot measure, and the "compromise bill" comes into effect. The rollout will be much slower, and by the time most of us are 40 or 50, we'll see every grocery store with full-strength booze on shelves.
2.) Voters pass the ballot measure in November and quite literally overnight stores will begin stocking their shelves with an abundance of cocktail makers.
Support and controversy continues to brew on either side of the coin: one claiming that big companies would tear Colorado's craft industry apart and put mom and pop shops out of business, while others claim it's for the convenience of the customer and is an antiquated system anwyays that favors nobody.
Either way, we're finally catching up to the rest of the nation as far as our alcohol sales are concerned. Now, if only we could figure out what the fuck is going on with the weed industry …