StateWays - May/June 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays n n May/June 2016 30 than in the U.S., particularly on beer, wine and imports (see chart). However, higher prices on low-end goods are often a deliberate choice. Unlike U.S. control states, most Canadian provinces impose minimum prices per unit or serving known as 'social reference prices' that are designed to manage the negative effects of alcohol. These policies vary widely by province and product type, and are con- sidered a great success by public health advocates. In fact, those currently arguing for per-unit minimum prices for alcohol in the UK point to Canada as a model to follow. In the post-Prohibition era, many U.S. states went pri- vate and in recent decades, many of the remaining con- trol states have seen calls for privatization. In Canada, public/private discussions are taking place in many juris- dictions, but complete privatization of the retail tier has only been adopted in one province, Alberta. Even there the government still acts as sole wholesaler. While right- wing politicians favor Alberta-style privatization in some provinces, the issue does not typically garner enough public support to move forward. Ultimately, most Cana- dians seem content to leave wine, beer and liquor sales in government hands. Author and sommelier MARNIE OLD is one of the coun- try's leading wine experts. Formerly the director of wine studies for Manhattan's esteemed French Culinary Institute, she is best known for her visually engaging books published by DK – the award-winning Wine: A Tasting Course and He Said Beer, She Said Wine. The wine department at a store in Quebec (above) and the Sage Creek Liquor Mart in Winnipeg (below).

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