Board votes to allow more gas stations to sell beer, despite looming court case

Written by The Associated Press | May 25, 2016 12:07 PM

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is granting nine more licenses to businesses that sell gasoline. It's the latest step in loosening the hold on beer sales by bars and beer distributors.

The Liquor Control Board's vote Wednesday is the first since February. That's when the state Supreme Court said it would take up a case challenging whether a convenience store can sell beer and gasoline without violating state law.

The beer licenses are for groceries and convenience stores in northeastern Pennsylvania, including the Wilkes-Barre area, Hazleton, Orangeville and Mahanoy City, and in western Pennsylvania, including Canonsburg, Gibsonia and Huntingdon.

Liquor Control Board officials say dozens of beer licensees also sell gas. That's despite wording in the state liquor law that bans alcohol sales licenses in locations, places and properties where gasoline is sold.

An earlier story is below:

Governor Tom Wolf wants Pennsylvanians to be able to buy six-packs of beer and gasoline in the same place, despite a pending court challenge.

Wolf wrote to the three state Liquor Control Board members a day before they'll consider nine beer license applications from convenience and grocery stores that also sell gasoline.

A state law that prohibits businesses from selling both beer and gasoline is being fought over in court.

A 2014 Commonwealth Court ruling permitted the sale of beer on the same property as gasoline, as long as the points of sale are separate.

The state Supreme Court is considering an appeal.

A Liquor Control Board spokeswoman says the agency has licensed more than 300 grocery and convenience stores to sell beer.

About a dozen of those also have gas pumps.

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