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CJ Commentary: Debate over liquor reform in N.C was never about alcohol

Liquor reform in North Carolina was never about alcohol. What was it about? According to Carolina Journal editor John Trump’s most recent opinion piece, it was about “jobs, the economy, entrepreneurship, and the community.” Trump quotes Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, the sponsor of the latest reform bill, S.B. 290:

“Once you get off the subject of just alcohol… you go to the bigger picture of how do you help a small business? Gunn asked. “How do you help an entrepreneur? We found out that started selling a lot better. I think, and I’ll say it again, the most important thing was we gave our craft distillers the same opportunity afforded our wineries and our craft brewers, and it started resonating that this is a business. You may not necessarily like or be in favor of the product, or participate, but you do like entrepreneurship and growing small businesses in North Carolina.”

Governor Cooper agrees, as he stated on Monday, July 29 during the bills signing:

“When you think about North Carolina, you think about agriculture, you think about manufacturing, about small business,” Cooper said. “You think about innovation, and I think this legislation sort of brings all of those things together.”

Trump writes Cooper dedicated the bill signing to the late Leanne Powell. According to Trump:

Powell, who made a career in politics before becoming a distiller, was one of those innovators Cooper was talking about…

Powell’s husband, Drew Arrowood, will continue where Leanne left off. He’ll hold concerts and serve cocktails, and people will eat from a line of food trucks. In little Mount Pleasant. Something similar will happen in Wilkesboro, in Knightdale, in Benson. In Mount Airy and in Belmont.

That’s what Leanne Powell would want, Arrowood says. A sense of responsibility — to themselves, to their families, and to their communities. A responsibility to make things better.

Read the full story here. Learn more about ABC Reform here.

Brenee Goforth / Marketing and Communications Associate

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