Up to 5,000 stores could apply for liquor licenses

$1 million needed to keep up with 5,000 new liquor license applications. Photo by Jaime Green.

Oklahoma City — An Oklahoma agency plans to ask lawmakers for more funding next year to keep pace with as many as 5,000 new liquor license applications.

The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission says it will seek a $1 million increase in funding.

In November, voters approved a measure allowing grocery stores to sell wine and strong beer beginning in 2018.

The Oklahoman reports (http://bit.ly/2hfDEbM ) that the money will allow the commission to hire six more enforcement agents and three administrative staff members.

The agency currently oversees about 4,400 establishment licenses.

Many grocery stores, wineries, breweries and chambers of commerce supported the measure. Liquor store operators warned that hundreds of package stores could close.

Last year, ABLE received about $2.5 million in state appropriations.

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Copyright The Gayly - 12/10/2016 @ 1:56 p.m. CDT.