In his "Mayoral Minute" column on Friday, Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins commented on liquor license allocations.

The mayor wrote the following:

''We listened to the last four applicants for our newest retail liquor license. I was again impressed by these entrepreneurs and their proposed plans. We have now listened to 10 proposals, and it is going to be a very tough decision for the Committee of the Whole next Wednesday evening. I wish state law would allow us to reward all these applications. Sigh."

Wyoming liquor licenses are allocated to communities across the state based on population under a 1935 state law.

Under current guidelines, the licenses are limited by the following population limits

(d) The number of retail liquor licenses issued shall be based on the following population formula: (i) Not more than two (2) licenses in incorporated towns of five hundred (500) population or less; (ii) Not more than one (1) additional license for each additional five hundred (500) population or major fraction thereof in incorporated cities or towns up to a population of nine thousand five hundred (9,500); and (iii) Not more than one (1) additional license for each additional full three thousand (3,000) population over nine thousand five hundred (9,500).

Across the country, there is a hodgepodge of state laws regarding how liquor licenses are allocated. Some, like Wyoming, award the licenses based on various population limits. Others regulate the licenses on other criteria including the payment of various fees and compliance with state liquor laws as opposed to quotas based on population.

So what do you think? Should Wyoming allow more liquor licenses? Or are you happy with the current system?


Is it an argument about the free market versus government regulation? Or is alcohol in a separate category from other products, one that mandates more governmental oversight?

Take our poll and give us your opinion!

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