On October 1 new state laws regulating alcohol sales in the state of Oklahoma will take effect. From this day forward grocery and convenience stores will be permitted to sell “strong beer” and wine — provided they have the correct certification from both the city and the state. Jessica Scott, Ardmore director of development services, is concerned that some businesses may not be aware of the steps involved in order to receive a permit from the city.
“I don’t think that some people realize they have to get an ABLE license and a new permit from the city,” Scott said. In fact, there is a three step process involved. First, the city has to issue a letter of compliance to the merchant. Next, the merchant has to take the letter to the ABLE Commission to receive a license. Once the ABLE license is received, the city can then issue new permits.
“To get the letter of compliance, the city will have to come out and do an inspection,” Scott said. “Both the fire marshal and the building inspector have to do the inspection, so it’s not something that can be scheduled immediately.” As the city receives more requests for letters of compliance, the longer it will take inspectors to get out to the location.
“People really need to take action now to get everything started,” Scott said. “We will be processing applications as quickly as we possibly can, but you don’t want to be one in a stack of dozens coming in at the last minute.”
Scott said the city has been sending out letters to merchants over the past few days to help make them aware of the process, but so far they have only done a few inspections.
To help raise awareness even further, the city will be partnering with the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 6 for a lunch and learn. Attorneys representing the city will present information about the new municipal regulations for alcohol as well as those for medical marijuana. The event is free for Chamber members and $15 for non-members. Reservations are required, so if you would like to attend send an email to Janee Auten at jauten@ardmore.org by Sept. 4.