Sunday, June 28, 2020

In the News: “remain open to a negotiated resolution"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"A proposed question to allow more stores to sell beer and wine will not appear on the ballot this fall and its backers will instead work to put the question before voters in 2022.

Cumberland Farms, the Westborough-based convenience store giant that was leading the ballot initiative campaign, said Friday night that it is dropping its effort due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the retail sector and the company’s corresponding need to focus more on the health and safety of its workers and customers.

“They deserve our undivided attention as we fulfill our ongoing commitment to safely providing essential services in cities and towns across Massachusetts. To that end, it’s become clear that leading an eight-figure ballot measure campaign is not a prudent course of action at this particular moment in history,” said Matt Durand, chairman of the ballot question committee and head of public policy at Cumberland Farms. “Make no mistake: The issue of safe and fair competition in the beverage alcohol marketplace remains a top legislative priority for Cumberland Farms and other food stores, just as it remains an important question of public policy for this commonwealth. As we’ve said from the beginning, we’re prepared to take this effort all the way to the voters if necessary. That position has not changed, and I look forward to the next biennial election cycle.”

The proposed question, according to the attorney general’s summary, would “create a license allowing food stores to sell wine and beer for off-premises consumption, progressively increase and then eliminate the limit on the number of licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages consumed off-premises that any one retailer could own or control.”
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