Some lawmakers, businesses upset with beer, wine sale bill


LANSING, Mich. – Legislation is headed to Gov. Rick Snyder that would let grocery stores with nearby gas stations sell beer and wine at the on-site convenience store.

But some rural lawmakers and convenience store lobbyists say the bill offers an unfair advantage for big box stores that already have the start-up capital smaller stores lack.

Convenience stores must have $250,000 worth of non-alcoholic inventory to peddle beer and wine.

Onekama Rep. Ray Franz, a Republican, calls it a "carve-out" for Meijer and other big box stores. But bill sponsor and Republican Rep. Aric Nesbitt says it opens the market.

The bill would let gas stations count groceries in nearby stores that own the station, like a Meijer location. But smaller convenience stores might not already have inventory worth that much.