The Distilled Spirits Council today applauded Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for signing legislation to allow expanded spirits sales in Montgomery County, Md.

The legislation, passed unanimously last month by the Maryland Senate, allows the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) to contract with existing private beer and wine stores for the sale of distilled spirits. The new law is expected to generate millions more in revenue without adding any additional capital expenditure for the state.

“We applaud Governor Hogan and Maryland lawmakers for recognizing the importance of providing consumer convenience by expanding the number of spirits outlets in the state,” said Distilled Spirits Council Vice President Jay Hibbard. “By simply adding 100 new spirits outlets, the county is projected to net $4.1 million, making expanding spirits sales a win for consumers, the county and the DLC system.”

Sales of distilled spirits in Montgomery County are only 1.4 gallons per adult – 42 percent lower than expected for the area. The most significant factor leading to low sales is lack of access. The County has only 0.34 spirits outlets per 10,000 adults. By contrast, in the rest of Maryland, there are 3.02 per 10,000 adults. Research shows that there are vast sales gains to be had as the number of outlets approaches 2.00.

The new law goes into effect July 1, 2017.