The following amendment was approved by the legislature at the end of the session yesterday and has been sent to the Governor for his signature which is expected next week.
SECTION 4. A. Section 61-6-140 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
“Section 61-6-140. No more than three retail dealer licenses may be issued to one licensee, and the licensee must be eligible for a license for each store pursuant to Section 61-6-110.
No more than three retail dealer licenses may be issued for the use of one corporation, association, partnership, or limited partnership. A corporation having the use of a retail dealer license that is owned by another corporation is considered to be holding the retail dealer license for the use of the owning corporation.
To promote adequate law enforcement, regulatory measures, health care costs, and associated impacts on the health, safety, and welfare of the State’s residents resulting from the anticipated sales of liquor, and to curb relationships and practices calculated to stimulate sales and impair the State’s policy favoring trade stability and the promotion of temperance, in determining whether a political subdivision is adequately served pursuant to Section 61-6-170, and to provide for an orderly provision of retail dealer licenses, the issuance of retail dealer licenses must be governed pursuant to the following requirements:
(1) The department shall not issue more than three retail dealer licenses to one licensee, and the licensee must be eligible for a license for each store pursuant to Section 61-6-110.
(2) The limitation of no more than three retail dealer licenses to one licensee does not apply to a person having an interest in retail liquor stores as of July 1, 1978.
(3) The General Assembly finds that the issuance of multiple retail dealer licenses pursuant to this section should exist only for a time certain to serve and promote the policies set forth in this section. It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide for a sunset provision on the limitation of three retail dealer licenses held by one licensee as enacted by this section. The provisions of this section are therefore repealed on April 5, 2018.”
This amendment will keep the three store limit until April 5, 2018. ABC Stores of SC will negotiate with representatives of Total, the class A wholesalers, Walmart and their retail association to develop a new law before the temporary one that was passed yesterday expires. This will be hard work and we plan to get on it right away.