North Carolina liquor laws are a mash of madness

North Carolina liquor laws are a mash of madness

There are more than 50 distilleries in North Carolina, but the state's Prohibition-era regulations are hamstringing the industry and permitting a culture of mismanagement, ineptitude, and corruption.

According to a recent article in the Carolina Journal, the system that governs the sale and distribution of liquor is in dire need of an overhaul.

For example, NC prohibits distillers from mixing drinks. This means visitors cannot taste the product in any way except warm and straight. As CJ notes, "A move to allow tastings at N.C. liquor stores was summarily dismissed from a bill last year."

What's worse, is that surrounding states have more consumer-friendly, free market laws - which puts distillers in the Old North State at a competitive disadvantage.

Further, each local Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board determines what gets sold in their county.

Efforts to modernize, reform, or even abolish the N.C. ABC system aren’t new, and the system has made some small steps toward progress and consumerism. But efforts to privatize the antiquated system have fallen flat, due in part to strong religious interests and even stronger lobbying efforts by the ABC itself, including from the politically connected local boards. 

“It is across the state,” one distillery representative told CJ about the discretionary power prevalent throughout the ABC system. ABC board members have told the rep, “’If an N.C. distiller has said he or she wants privatization, then I’m not carrying their products.’ Many ABC boards just aren’t interested in N.C. products,” the rep told CJ. 

It's high time the current government-run monopoly of alcohol sales be destroyed. 

We'll talk with the Carolina Journal's Managing Editor, John Trump, who wrote the piece - today at 4:00 p.m.

Pete's Prep Sheet - Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018:

  • Asheville City Council members hate AirBnB so much, they refused to let a guy operate his properties as short-term rentals, even though Council admitted the City has screwed him over for 15 years - after allowing a Whole Foods (with a noisy loading dock) to be built right next to his home. I'll have more on this today during the show.
  • Officials in Pender County, NC refused to let the Cajun Navy help in disaster response, according to the Port City Daily. The founder of the grassroots organization said, “In Texas they loved us; Pender County told us to leave,” referring to their efforts in Houston after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
  • North Dakota's voter ID law can be applied in the upcoming election, the US Supreme Court decided. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan dissented.
  • The Democratic candidate for US Senate in Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, is a co-founder of a group called Local to Global Justice - which promoted two events featuring a woman named Lynn Stewart in 2003. According to FOX News, Stewart was facing charges for helping Omar Abdel Rahman (the "Blind Sheik") pass secret messages to his radical Islamic followers. Stewart was Rahman's lawyer and was convicted for aiding a terror organization.
  • Meanwhile, NBC reports that the path for Democrats to win control of the Senate is "much more difficult" than it was a month ago. The report cites the Kavanaugh confirmation process as leading to a shift in polling.
Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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