There are bills in the Texas state House and Senate that would make the sale of ready-to-drink cocktails and seltzers mixed with distilled spirits available in grocery and convenience stores.
Beer, wine and malt liquor that have an alcohol content of 17% or lower can be found on the shelves of markets in Texas, but so far ready-to-drink cocktails following the same restrictions are prohibited.
Texas lawmakers, like Rep. Justin Holland, who introduced a bill in the state House, and Sen. Kelly Hancock, who did the same in the state Senate, want to see businesses capitalize on the hottest drinking trend.
“As industries innovate and new products become staples in the marketplace, it only makes sense for us to take a look at ways government can reduce regulatory red tape,” Hancock said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work on legislation that keeps free market principles at the core of Texas’ economic success.”
Texas is currently the only state that does not allow privately traded corporations to obtain a liquor license, which means the Targets of the world cannot display any type of liquor. Walmart went as far as to sue the state, but the case was rejected in 2020 by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States recently completed a survey that revealed 86% of respondents believe ready-to-drink cocktails should be sold in the same locations where beer and wine can be purchased.
The Texas Package Store Association is against embracing ready-to-drink cocktails and their availability in grocery stores. The association said children can work at those markets, and if they have to move the cocktails over the scanner it would create a dangerous situation.
Texas appears to be trending in the right direction: In 2021 it permanently legalized to-go cocktail sales by restaurants and bars.