Why No Beer and Wine for MoCo Grocery Stores?


Ever wonder why most grocery stores in MoCo don’t carry beer and wine?

Back in the 1980s, a law was passed which prohibited booze from being sold in Maryland grocery stores.  At the time that this law passed, four MoCo supermarkets were allowed to be the exception due to a grandfather clause: Shoppers, Giant, Safeway, and Magruder’s. However, these stores are only allowed one location each to sell beer and wine.  For a while, two 7-elevens in the county also sold beer and wine, but that permission was revoked after legal battles.

Currently, all counties in Maryland have dry grocery stores with the exception of : Caroline County, Prince George’s County (one location allowed per store brand), St. Mary’s County, Talbot County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County.

In 2018, Comptroller Peter Franchot urged Maryland to allow alcohol sales in grocery stores.  He planned to propose a bill to loosen regulations, but this plan was stopped in its tracks after setbacks with other alcohol reforms.

There are no current efforts to change grocery store beer and wine laws in the county.

Featured photo courtesy of Michelle Katz


11 Comments on "Why No Beer and Wine for MoCo Grocery Stores?"

  1. What about stores like Rodman’s, Snider’s, Moti’s Mart, Shalom’s Kosher, etc.?

  2. Is there anything we (the Mock citizens) can do to have these antiquated prohibitionist laws done away with?

  3. Edward Silverstein | July 23, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Reply

    Actually, I believe, that the Giant at White Oak in Montgomery County has the corporations beer/wine license and Safeway moved it beer/wine license from a store in Prince Georges County which is now closed to a store in Olney in Montgomery County.

    • I live in northern Silver Spring and we have 2 groceries who sell beer & wine: the Safeway mentioned and roots. Just pinch me, please.

      Moving here 5 yrs ago from North Carolina of all places, I felt like I was going back into the past. WTF is wrong with this state?

  4. Grosvenor Market sells wine and beer — it is a hidden gem!

  5. Giant in white oak, Safeway in Olney… where are the Shoppers and Magruders?

  6. There is a 7–11 in Aspen Hill that sells beer and wine

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