Cumberland Farms indicated on Tuesday, August 3, that it does not plan to revive its push for alcohol licensing changes via a 2022 ballot question and will instead direct its attention toward supporting legislation on Beacon Hill.
One day ahead of the deadline to file initiative petitions with the attorney general’s office, the leader of the company’s aborted 2020 ballot question campaign stated that the focus is now on a bill (H 318) that would create a new category of licenses allowing food stores to sell beer and wine.
The campaign cleared several initial hurdles to put a question before voters in 2020 that would have created a new alcohol license type for food stores and eventually eliminated the cap on the number of alcohol sale licenses any entity could hold. In June 2020, though, Cumberland Farms dropped the effort due to the impacts of COVID-19 and said it would try again in 2022.
The Massachusetts Package Store Association, which opposed the Cumberland Farms ballot question during the 2020 campaign, recently filed its own initiative petition for the 2022 cycle. That proposal, which MPSA Executive Director Robert Mellion described as an “olive branch” to food and convenience stores like Cumberland Farms, would increase the number of licenses available to retailers while keeping a cap in place, reforming out-of-state ID use, and banning alcohol sales at self-checkouts.