A harbinger of things to come in these parts…or a cautionary tale?

From this morning’s Beer Business Daily:

They couldn’t do it in the courts. They couldn’t do it in the legislature.  But $40 million and ten years later, they’ve done it with a ballot initiative.

The Costco-bankrolled Initiative 1183 privatizing alcohol sales in Washington State “sailed through” this morning with nearly 60 percent of votes, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It was the big box club store’s second attempt to privatize, and this time around they spent some $22 million on ads.

The measure will allow stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor. State officials expects the number of liquor stores to increase exponentially, “from 328 to more than 1,400.” New rules are effective in June.

“We are very grateful to all of our coalition partners across the state,” Costco’s chief legal officer reportedly told the Associated Press. Washington’s state-run system had been in place since 1933.

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