Liquor prices may go up under privatized system



SEATTLE (AP) — Fifteen companies have applied for licenses to distribute liquor in Washington state under a new privatized system, and their discussions with distilleries indicate prices on spirits in Washington may climb.

Applicants range from a tiny beer and wine importer in Everett to some of the country’s largest distributors, according to a list from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

Under voter-approved Initiative 1183, restaurants and bars can buy liquor directly from distilleries and distributors beginning March 1, and consumers will be able to buy it from private retailers starting June 1.

The prospect of higher prices has distillers and distributors worried about making a profit while not driving away customers under the new system.

Information from The Seattle Times: