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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania convenience store retailers may soon be stocking their shelves with wine.
On the heels of a new law allowing wine to be sold in food stores, which went into effect Aug. 8, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has begun accepting requests for new licenses and permits to sell wine.
Requests can now be submitted via PLCB+, an online licensing platform introduced earlier this year.
Along with the change in legislation, the PLCB rolled out organizational changes to support a new class of customers — including convenience stores and grocery stores — that want to obtain wine expanded permits authorizing the sale of wine to go.
"We have created a new Office of Wholesale Operations that will work directly with large-volume wine permittees so we can anticipate their product needs and make available to them the wines they want to carry in the quantities they demand," said Mike Negra, a PLCB member. "We have been talking with chain accounts and the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association to ensure we successfully develop this new part of our business collaboratively with our wine-to-go wholesale customers."
Wine expanded permit holders buying smaller amounts of wine may begin selling wine this month, assuming they are selling wine in-stock at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores. Licensees that need larger quantities of wine or certain products not currently in stock may wait longer to receive those products. The PLCB intends to begin shipping wine from its distribution centers around October to large-volume wine-to-go permittees.
"Now that Act 39 is in effect, we can begin implementing all its various changes, and we're working to make wine-to-go sales a reality for Pennsylvania consumers as quickly as possible," said Michael Newsome, PLCB member.
The act, hailed as the first significant reform to the state's liquor system since Prohibition, passed in June.
Based in Harrisburg, the PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates 600-plus wine and spirits stores across the state, and licenses more than 20,000 beverage alcohol producers and retailers.