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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Group wants to bypass Liquor Control Board

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Alliance for Fair Markets (WCAFM) is a business association formed with the aim of allowing liquor license holders to purchase beer, liquor and wine from wholesalers other than the Worcester County Liquor Control Board (LCB).

Joe Moore, attorney for the WCAFM, testified before the Worcester County Commissioners seeking their support for a change to the state regulations that currently requires the LCB be the only purveyor of liquor in the county.

According to Moore, the group is seeking changes to the state legislation that would allow liquor licensees to make their purchases from any wholesaler with whom they can strike a deal. In order to replace the revenue that would be lost by the county’s loss of the profits from the LCB’s 24 percent mark-up, the proposed legislation would establish what Moore called a “wholesale elimination fee” of about $2,000 annually.

Smaller sellers, who the LCB purports to protect in its existence, would not be required to pay the fee and could just continue to make their purchases from the LCB.

Moore told the commissioners that state Sen. Jim Mathias and Delegate Michael McDermott had already indicated they would support the measure if the commissioners gave their endorsement.

The commissioners thanked Moore for his testimony but elected not to decide one way or the other at the meeting. They told him they’d take his testimony under consideration and make their decision at a later date. President Bud Church said he understood that this was a time sensitive request but that it was also something they’d have to deliberate on after thinking about it awhile. Representatives from the LCB asked to speak but their request was rejected.