MT LIQUOR STORE HISTORY
When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the process of determining the method of regulation of alcohol beverages fell to the citizens of the United States who decided by jurisdiction how they could best balance individual freedom with the social risk and public costs of beverage alcohol consumption. The result is that all US residents experience some type of governmental control over the sales and/or distribution of beverage alcohol. The State Board of Examiners established the Montana Liquor Control Board in 1933. The Board was charged with the responsibility of purchasing, pricing and vending liquor in the state. By the first quarter of 1935, 115 state-owned retail stores were in operation. In 1973, the state legislature abolished the Liquor Control Board and transferred its responsibilities to the Department of Revenue, Liquor Control Division. In 1995, the state legislature directed the department to convert all remaining state liquor stores to agent owned liquor stores. All agency liquor stores now own their liquor inventories that they continue to purchase through the state warehouse, but are permitted to set their own retail prices as long as it is at or above the minimum state established prices. All liquor license holders purchase liquor through the agency liquor stores at a cost no greater than the state’s established price.