Proposition 125 Passes in Colorado

Rachel Hoffman | December 6, 2022

The results are in—Coloradoans will soon be able to purchase wine in more stores than ever before. Proposition 125 allows for “grocery stores, convenience stores and other businesses currently licensed to sell beer to also sell wine.” This follows the expansion of full-strength beer sales in grocery stores, which took effect January 1, 2019. Any store that is licensed to sell full-strength (3.2% ABV) beer can also sell wine starting March 1, 2023.  It’s worth noting that this initiative only affects wine, and liquor can exclusively be purchased at licensed liquor stores across the Centennial State.

Though wine is now more accessible, the typical beverage alcohol laws apply. Sales are prohibited between midnight and 8:00 a.m. and of course, it is always illegal to sell alcohol of any kind to anyone under 21.

Other alcohol initiatives failed

Proposition 125 wasn’t the only beverage alcohol initiative on the ballot this year. Two other measures failed to receive enough votes on election day. One was to allow off-premise liquor stores to operate multiple locations in the state and the other was focused on allowing the delivery of alcohol by third party services, like DoorDash.

Currently, liquor retailers can operate in up to three locations in Colorado. Proposition 124 was focused solely on liquor store licenses, and not the licenses that cover grocery and convenience stores that can only sell beer and wine. The number of retail liquor licenses one person may hold would have gradually increased until limits were phased out completely in 2037.  Though this measure did not pass, in 2027 liquor store chains may operate in up to four locations.

Another close call was Proposition 126, which lost by only 2.2% of votes, and was aimed at allowing retailers to offer third-party alcohol delivery and would permanently allow restaurants and bars to offer alcohol takeout and delivery.  The measure failed to reach a simple majority, and the current bill extending to-go restaurant alcohol sales is set to expire in July 2025.

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