A Pennsylvania Court upheld a previous ruling on Monday that a local store cannot sell beer for takeout only because doing so would not be allowed under its retailer license.
The case pitted a distributors association against a company operating a Sheetz convenience store which included a fast food restaurant.
The Malt Beverage Distributors Association objected granting Ohio Springs Inc a retailer’s license if it limited carry-out purchases without on premises consumption.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board had decided that Ohio Springs did qualify as a retailer, saying that the law did not expressly require the retailer to sell beer.
The state’s Commonwealth Court reversed that decision, saying the PLCB erred in granting the application because Ohio Springs did not meet the definition of a retail dispenser.
On appeal, the case was upheld, with The Supreme Cour of Pennsylvania Middle District ruling that the law was ambiguous and that the legislature’s intent was to maintain retailers and distributors as separate. Allowing Ohio Springs Inc to be termed a retailer would infringe upon the market niche legally created for distributors.
“While a policy determination in this regard may well be accomplished by our legislature, it is not our role to sanction such a momentous transformation,” the court wrote in its opinion.