Two popular items remain banned from Minnesota grocery stores

While state lawmakers made several changes to some of Minnesota’s longstanding laws, they did not touch the law that makes it illegal for grocery stores to sell these two popular items.

You may have heard about the massive omnibus bill passed by the Minnesota state legislature in 2024 at the end of this year’s session. (The Minn Post notes that the 1,430-page bill combined nine different bills.) And while it contained several updates to Minnesota’s alcohol laws, one law was NOT updated.

And the law applies to two popular items you can buy at grocery stores in almost every other state except here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Because these two items remain banned from grocery and convenience stores in Minnesota.

So what popular items can’t grocery stores legally sell here in the North Star State? Why, it would be wine and beer. (Well, other alcoholic beverages too, of course.)

Now grocery stores in the Bold North *can* sell beer, but as we all know, the beer that grocery stores can legally sell in Minnesota is that weird “3.2” or “almost beer” as it’s sometimes called . And the Gopher State is currently the *only* state where that product (which contains less alcohol by volume than regular beer) is still sold.

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Like last year, grocery and convenience store owners were hoping the Minnesota Legislature could pass a bill that would allow them to sell regular beer and wine. But, like last year, a proposal to amend the law was not taken up. (Axios Twin Cities has a list of the amended Minnesota alcohol laws HERE.)

Earlier this year, this Minn Post (MP) story said DFL Sen. Matt Klein was working on a compromise that would allow grocery and convenience stores to sell “strong” beer. Allowing the sale of wine was not part of the proposed bill, but it doesn’t matter anyway because even Klein’s compromise bill didn’t pass.

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While other factors were involved this year, this lawmaker’s story notes several reasons why lawmakers have questioned advancing Minnesota’s outdated liquor laws, but it appears to all come down to the alcohol bill passed by Legislative in 2022.

This was the “Free The Growler” law that, after previously being blocked, finally passed two years ago. It’s the law that finally allowed craft breweries to sell more of their own beer.

So, until next year, lawmakers’ next chance is to actually do their job and pass a bill that many Minnesotans favor if you want to get a shot of wine or beer here in the Land of 10,000 . Ridiculously outdated laws Lakes, you’ll still have to go to your local liquor store (which I love, by the way). At least they’re allowed to be open on Sundays now, right?

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