UPDATE: Jennie Peek-Dunstone, spokeswoman for Keep Colorado Unique, issued a statement around 11:30 a.m. today in response to Your Choice Colorado's decision:
"Our primary concern has been to ensure that local businesses and craft producers can still thrive in Colorado. We are pleased that the grocery stores did the right thing.
"With the withdrawal of their initiative, we can move forward to implement the historic compromise without the cloud of an initiative that as Governor Hickenlooper said would 'irreparably harm independent liquor stores and craft producers throughout Colorado.'"
Here's our original post:
Your Choice Colorado announced today that it will not pursue a November ballot initiative that would have allowed grocery stores to sell full-strength beer and wine as soon as they get their liquor licenses.
The decision comes after Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill on June 10 that allows grocery stores to slowly introduce full-strength adult beverages onto their shelves.
“With the legislation now in effect, we are working diligently to figure out how this law will impact both Coloradans and grocery stores,” said Your Choice Colorado campaign manager Georgie Aguirre-Sacasa in a statement. “While the bill isn’t perfect and we continue to believe that Coloradans deserve better, it does change the old status quo and will allow people more access to the Colorado craft beer and wine that they love.”
As Westword editor Patricia Calhoun noted in a recent column, "SB 16-197 will allow chains to buy up to twenty liquor licenses over a twenty-year period. Since those retailers would first need to buy out liquor stores within 1,500 feet of a desired location, the compromise made mom-and-pop enterprises feel a little more secure — if the big retailers decide to pull their proposed ballot measure, that is."
Your Choice Colorado collected more than 85,000 signatures in support of its ballot measure.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.