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Canned Cocktails Could Soon Be Sold At Texas Gas Stations And Grocery Stores

Ready-to-drink spirits have similar alcohol content to beer and wine
Photo: The Image Party | Shutterstock

Texas has a long-standing history of strict liquor laws, but a Senate bill could allow grocery stores and gas stations to sell ready-to-drink cocktails. 

According to KHOU, Sen. Kelly Hancock of Fort Worth introduced SB 1288, which he claims would boost Texas businesses. Representative Justin Holland introduced the House version of this bill, House Bill 2200, in February.

“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."

The Distilled Spirits Council shared a recent survey that showed consumers support easier access to these products in grocery and convenience stores. In fact, 86% agreed that ready-to-drink (RTD) spirit-based cocktails should be sold where beer and wine are available for purchase. 

“It makes no sense that consumers can come into our stores and pick up malt-based seltzers but can’t do the same with their favorite spirits-based canned cocktails,” said Paul Hardin, president/CEO of Texas Food & Fuel Association. “This is confusing to consumers and unnecessarily restricts our sales. Allowing these small businesses to sell spirits RTDs that have the same alcohol content as beer and wine products we already sell, will support the growth of tens of thousands of businesses across our state. It’s time to pass this commonsense measure in support of Texas consumers and local businesses.”

The distilled spirits industry is a major driver of economic activity in Texas. There are currently 92,000 jobs in the state depending on the spirits industry, generating more than $9.6 billion in state economic activity each year. 

“As spirits RTDs gain in popularity, states all across the U.S. are taking a look at beverage laws to ensure consumers of these products are being treated fairly, and Texas consumers should not get left behind,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.