PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Liquor Control board has approved nine new applications permitting gas stations to sell six-packs of beer.

Governor Tom Wolf urged the board to make the approvals yesterday.

Wolf thanks the PLCB for “freeing the six-pack” in gas stations by permitting businesses with appropriate protections to sell up to 192 ounces of malt or brewed beverages.

“’Freeing the six-pack’ will make the commonwealth more inviting for customers and businesses,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I applaud the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for approving these applications and respectfully ask that they approve similar subsequent applications that otherwise meet PLCB standards in order to improve customer service and convenience for Pennsylvania.”

One of those applications was coming from the recently opened Canonsburg Sunoco station in Washington County.

They sell gas, and all the things you’d expect in a convenience store, but owner Paul Lathia wants to sell beer, too.

He says it’ll be convenient for people: “They’ll buy the gas at a gas station and at the next corner buy the beer, so it’s actually more trouble for the customers to do two stops,” said Lathia.

He also thinks it’s unfair that some GetGo and Sheetz stores are now allowed to sell beer, if he’s not.

In a letter to the PLCB, Gov. Wolf wrote: “Allowing malt or brewed beverages to be sold at gas stations under appropriate circumstances is an important step toward our shared goal of “freeing the six-pack” and increasing convenience and improving customer satisfaction for all Pennsylvanians.”

The Pennsylvania liquor code forbids licenses at places where gasoline is sold.

However, the governor points to a recent court decision that allowed it, if the points of sale are separate.

Lathia says he plans to put beer in a separate but adjoining building. He’ll also have a separate cash register.

However, beer distributors aren’t thrilled with the idea of gas stations selling beer.

Matthew Haverstick, a lawyer representing the Malt Beverage Distributors Association, had this comment: “The governor’s misleading letter is an insult to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, which will soon hear argument on this very issue.”

It turns out, the court will likely take up the issue this fall.

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David Highfield