Could beer and wine be coming to convenience stores in Hingham?
This fall voters may be asked to establish a new kind of liquor license called a “food store” license that would allow for the sale of beer and wine in any convenience store that sells food. If it were to pass, it would need to be approved by town officials in order to be allowed in Hingham. The ballot question, which was proposed by Cumberland Farms, was held up in court until last week when the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County ruled that voters would be able to vote on it this November
With the court ruling behind them, proponents of the proposal would only be able to put the question before voters in November if they are able to collect a sufficient number of signatures by the June 17th deadline. The new licenses could be issued as soon as December if the question is approved.
This new initiative would also also allow for an unlimited number of licenses for any one company to control after a phase-in period. In 2007, the Massachusetts Package Stores Association (MPSA) successfully persuaded voters to limit liquor licenses for supermarket chains to a three-store maximum. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, both sides spent over $12 million combined. At the time, this was the most expensive ballot war in state history.