Should Massachusetts Towns Have A Cap on How Many Liquor Licenses They Can Give?

With the vote earlier this week by the Board of Selectmen to deny a liquor license for Hannaford, today we ask whether Chelmsford should be required to have a cap on how many liquor licenses they can give, and whether or not that played a significant ro


Earlier this week, the Board of Selectmen unanimously opposed granting a limited liquor license to Hannaford first discussed a week earlier.

Various members of the board citing Chelmsford Police Chief James Murphy's concerns as well as a perceived lack of a public of a public need due to the proximity of other stores nearby that hold licenses, like Drum Hill Liquors.

That being said, today our question focuses on another specific portion of this debate and all requests for permanent local liquor licenses in the Commonwealth: how many licenses a town is able to give.

If license quotas were the largest factor in a licensing, would the lack of a quote significantly change how Selectmen grant licenses? Would "organic" quotas arise? Or are the quotas not the most significant factor now when it comes to granting licenses?

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Jean-Luc Picard October 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Good to see that the board of selectmen used common sense, as well as the law in denying the license. Quota should not be a factor.
Emily Marget October 04, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Chelmsford has been awarded a certain number of full and partial licenses by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) based on the number of residents in the town. It is then up to the town to allocate those licenses within the town. Historically, the partial licenses have never been issued by Chelmsford. I hope this clears up some of the controversy.
Christian Noel October 04, 2012 at 07:18 PM
No. Why should government at any level tell a private business what they can or can't sell? Why should any government "protect" one business (package stores) while making rules that do harm to other kinds of stores (grocers etc). That's what this is really about. Last time I checked NH let supermarkets like Hannaford sell beer and they also still have package stores. This is all about politics.
Gail Kruglak October 04, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Once again the Board of Selectmen step on the throats of small business in town. Voting it down to protect Drum Hill Liquor is just like the vote to deny the Meat House to protect Harringtons. My future purchased will be in Nashua where you can buy beer and wine where you shop for food - Costco,MB,Shaws.... Free market is a wonderful thing!
J M Gervais October 08, 2012 at 07:49 AM
I will never shop at Drum Hill Liquors again and urge the public not to shop there either. It's run by a dead beat family who claim to be republicans but only follow those standards and values when it suits their needs. They have all the money in the world but are low class and sad people.


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