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July 5, 2017

Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages proposes ban on nips

The Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations has urged the state's Liquor and Lottery Commission to ban the sale of the 50-milliliter alcohol bottles commonly known as "nips."

The Sun Journal reported that in his recommendation bureau director Gregory Mineo wrote that banning nips will reduce littering, make it harder to drive while drinking and cause "no significant loss of revenues" for the state.

The bureau is looking at a nips ban following the Legislature's override of Governor's LePage's veto of a bill that sought to impose a nickel deposit on nips beginning in 2019.

The commission lists 333 products that are packaged as nips. The Sazerac Company in Lewiston, which sells the Fireball Cinnamon Whisky brand, makes up half of nip sales in Maine, the paper reported.

Mineo's proposal calls for ending the sale of nips in Maine on Jan. 12, 2018.

In his veto message, LePage said he was concerned about the cost of implementation, which he estimated at more than $1 million, Maine Public has reported.

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