Wash. opens up liquor sales; prices could go up



NACHES, Wash. (AP) — You might want to stock up on tequila and rum if margaritas or mojitos are on your summer menu, because prices are likely going up at many retailers in Washington this week.

Voters approved Initiative 1183 last fall, allowing stores larger than 10,000 square feet and some smaller stores to sell liquor.

Under the measure, restaurants and bars were allowed to begin buying liquor directly from distributors March 1, and they can begin buying directly from retail stores on Friday.

However, the initiative also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and a 17 percent retail fee on spirits to reimburse the state for millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Some retailers say that likely means higher prices for consumers, regardless of where they buy their spirits.