A Step in the Right Direction: Legislature Votes to Eliminate the Five Store Limit

With Governor Abbott’s signature, HB 1545 will eliminate the “Five Store Limit” and the “consanguinity loophole,” which U.S. Federal District Court Judge Robert Pitman found unconstitutional, and which for decades has allowed a few privileged families to play by a separate set of rules, consolidate their permits, and amass liquor store empires that now dominate the state’s retail liquor market.

While HB 1545 is a step in the right direction, Texas remains the only state with a protectionist law that allows private corporations to compete in the retail sale of spirits, while prohibiting publicly traded companies (and private companies with 35 shareholders or more) from doing so ––a public corporation ban Judge Pitman also declared discriminatory and unconstitutional. 

The appeal of Judge Pitman’s decision remains pending before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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