Minnesota Shutdown Cutting Off Beer, Cigarettes

Bars already can't renew liquor cards
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2011 3:14 PM CDT
A man enjoys a cigarette in a Minnesota bar in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Janet Hostetter)
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(Newser) – If anything will turn the Minnesota public against the state’s government shutdown, this will: The booze is running out. The state requires bars and liquor shops to purchase their alcohol with a state-issued card—and hundreds weren’t able to renew theirs before the shutdown. “It’s going to cripple our industry,” the head of a liquor retailing group tells Minneapolis Star Tribune.

There’s even more bad news for smokers, because the state has stopped issuing the tax stamps legally required on every pack of cigarettes sold, so by Labor Day those are expected to be in short supply, too. “We’ve been in business for 70 years,” says one tobacco distributor, “and all of a sudden this whole thing is going to screw us over? What happens to these retailers that we cover?”

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