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Peter Franchot: Montgomery County Should Stay Out Of Alcohol Business

State Comptroller Peter Franchot says Montgomery County's liquor policy is "outdated, inconvenient, and inefficient."
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State Comptroller Peter Franchot says Montgomery County's liquor policy is "outdated, inconvenient, and inefficient."

One elected official from Montgomery County is calling for the end of liquor-control policies in Maryland's largest jurisdiction.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot is a Montgomery County resident, but in his position as Maryland's top financial official, he is also the state's chief regulator of alcohol. Speaking to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce this week, Franchot said Montgomery County needs to get out of the alcohol business, feeling it inhibits small businesses and and consumer choice.

Liquor can only be purchased at county-owned stores in Montgomery County, something Franchot calls "outdated, inconvenient, and inefficient."

Franchot is a statewide official, but at the county level where the decision would be made, there has been little movement at all to end liquor control policies that have been in place since the end of prohibition in the 1930s.

A report commissioned last year by the county to study its nightlife economy, which lags behind other jurisdictions in the D.C. region, only recommended changes to the liquor control department, not abolishing it.

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