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Government and Politics

Group Seeks To Privatize Oregon Liquor Sales

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Tom Banse
/
Northwest News Network
Liquor on the shelves of a state-regulated store in Washington, before privatization there.

A group funded by the grocery industry filed an initiative petition Wednesday that would allow Oregonians to buy liquor in most grocery stores.

Currently in Oregon, you have to go to a select number of state-chartered liquor stores to buy things like vodka, whiskey and scotch. The grocery industry wants to be able to offer those products to customers along with their current selection of beer and wine.

Sponsors of the petition include the president of Portland-based Fred Meyer Stores.

If backers gather enough signatures, the initiative would appear on next year's ballot. Supporters abandoned an effort to qualify for the ballot in 2014 amid a court battle over the wording of the initiative.

Washington voters privatized liquor sales four years ago with a ballot initiative backed by a grocery trade association, a restaurant association and Costco.