W(h)ining over a 'no' vote

Massachusetts voters on election day rejected Ballot Question 1, a proposal that would have allowed for wine sales in food stores by granting a new type of locally issued liquor license.

“I think voters understood this thing for what it was. Why do we need to double the amount of liquor licences in the state and add 3,000 licenses?,” said Joe Baerlein, a spokesman for the No on One Campaign Committee. “They soundly rejected that.”

On the other side, the supermarket industry said it was the opposition's scare campaign that thwarted their attempt to gain a foothold in the retail wine market.

“We knew from the beginning that changing the status quo regarding wine sales was going to be a tough fight,” Chris Flynn, president of the Massachusetts Food Association, said in a statement. “The liquor industry spent millions of dollars to maintain their monopoly on wine sales and, unfortunately, Massachusetts voters were misled by a negative, scare campaign.”

No matter who is right, the votes are what counted, and the "no" votes won by about 14%.

About 40 grocery stores have full liquor licenses or beer-and-wine licenses under a state law that limits chains to three licenses each.

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