Oklahoma grocery stores could soon sell wine after petition ruling

The push for wine in Oklahoma grocery stores could become a reality if enough state support is put on paper.

The state Supreme Court is allowing for a petition to decide the issue's fate. The magic number? 155,216.

Reasor's Foods owner Jeff Reasor says he sees a lot of out-of-staters expecting to find alcohol on one of his aisles. Reasor says he sometimes receives those questions from Oklahomans as well.

With enough signatures and an approval on the November ballot, wine could be sold in his stores in about a year and a half.

Unfortunately for Reasor, only six out of his 17 grocery stores would be permitted, with six being the limit to a single owner.

In the event the petition passes, Reasor says he's not looking forward to picking and choosing which stores will sell wine. "I don't really want to be in that situation because we like having our stores as much as we can a like," he said.

Other stipulations include the size of the county. Only counties with 50,000 residents will be allowed to sell, meaning 62 of the state's 77 counties will remain dry.

Additionally, the grocery store must be larger than 25,000 square feet.

Liquor store owner Mary Stewart says she is OK with the petition and is used to competing with other liquor stores, but is concerned the stores won't have as strict of rules.

"Let them have an advantage over me," she said. "How does that work? It doesn't work."

The law currently dictates Stewart closes her doors on holidays and cannot allow chillers for cold beer and wine. She also was an Oklahoma resident 15 years before becoming eligible to obtain a liquor license and cannot have anyone under the age of 21 in her store.

"Is that going to happen in a grocery store?" she said.

For more information on the petition go to okmodernlaws.com .

They must get all signatures by Sept. 26.

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