State House Advances Bill Allowing Liquor Stores To Offer Samples

Wednesday, March 3rd 2021, 6:21 pm


State lawmakers say they're willing to give liquor stores a shot at handing out samples, but not everyone was saying cheers to the legislation. 

House Bill 1098 would allow retail liquor stores offer free samples of wine, beer and liquor.  

“We continue to unleash this dangerous drink into the public in Oklahoma at an incredibly enormous and an astounding level,” Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell said. 

Russ argued against the bill, which would allow four quarter-ounce samples of liquor and four one-once samples of wine and beer.  

“How much more, Mr. Speaker, are we going to give into the alcohol industry and let them continue to have more liberal open-door policies, more opportunities because, Mr. Speaker, at the end of the day we all know what it's about it's about - selling more alcohol,” Russ told his colleagues. 

“The very nature of this bill, I would argue to you, is to lessen alcohol sales. The purpose of this bill is really to switch to a more quality over quantity style of environment,” Rep. Jud Strom, R-Copan, said. 

He argued allowing people to sample better beer will drive down the sales of poorer pints. 

“The taste and flavor varietals are anywhere from pineapple to pinenuts, from berries to bear sweat,” Strom said. “So, in order to convince people to try one of these things, it's going to be a lot of easier to upsell one of these things if they could have a little taste, a little tail.” 

The bill passed with 69 yes votes and 29 no. It’s now eligible to be heard in the full Senate.