By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is promoting the sale of beer and wine in regular grocery stores.

With a few exceptions, Maryland law limits the sales to liquor stores, but Franchot believes the state law is behind the times.

“You want to do a poll someday, go find 10 people and nine of the 10 picked at random will say of course you should be able to pick it up at a grocery store just like 41 other states currently permit,” Franchot said.

WJZ is currently conducting a poll and the results are showing that hands down, people want to be able to buy beer and wine along with everything else they pick up in grocery stores.

From the business standpoint, Franchot sees a benefit to the sales of craft beer, but opponents see competition from supermarket chains.

“Let everybody in. I know it’s a strange, quirky system I’m advocating. It’s called free enterprise, it’s called capitalism and it works. And there are three or four jurisdictions in the state that allow grocery store sales of beer and wine and they have flourishing retailers,” Franchot said.

It’s a debate to take up in the next legislative session.

The state-licensed beverage association says the law protects locally owned stores from the competition of supermarket chains.

Grocery stores currently sell beer and wine in Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester and St. Mary’s counties.

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