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Developing Consensus For VA Liquor Business

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By Meymo Lyons

Consensus appears to be developing around a proposal to to dissolve Virginia's monopoly of the liquor business.

Although ABC may not be as easy as 1-2-3, Gov. Bob McDonnell's policy chief, Eric Finkbeiner, says four options for selling the state-owned Alcoholic Beverage Control outlets are under consideration.

Finkbeiner says the proposal would increase the number of stores from the current 332 for a state populace of about 8 million to roughly 800 stores. Licenses would be tiered in three groups, and the largest would be for food outlets such as supermarkets.

A second level would be for traditional package liquor stores. And a third would apply to small liquor displays in convenience or drug stores.

The state plans to adopt a final recommendation on Aug. 26.

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