Joseph Mollica

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is seeking to ban the president of one of the state’s largest labor unions from entering any state liquor store for the next six months.

The effort is an escalation in an ongoing dispute between the state agency and some of its workers over the proper handling of large all-cash transactions and allegations of bootlegging.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is making a bet on itself. The state agency is investing heavily in refurbished outlets and supermarket-sized new facilities. It’s part of a long-term strategy to increase sales and ward off competition from other states.

Lawmakers who count on liquor profits to help fund state government are watching closely to see if these expensive projects pay off, with some concerned about the early results.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr/Creative Commons

A long-festering dispute between New Hampshire Liquor Commission management and the union employees who staff the state-run stores erupted in front-page headlines this week.

Lauren Chooljian/NHPR

Large all-cash transactions. Out-of-state customers going store to store to buy enormous quantities of Hennessy cognac. Employees unsure about how to handle potentially illegal liquor sales.

Andru Volinsky, Letter to Governor and Attorney General

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky is calling for an investigation into the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, alleging that the state’s liquor stores are engaging in business practices that could “unquestionably facilitate money laundering related to criminal activities.”

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission set an all-time sales record of $698.2 million during the 2017 fiscal year. That’s an increase of 2.92 percent, or $19.8 million, from the previous fiscal year.

According to the liquor commission, $155.7 million in profits were transferred to New Hampshire’s General Fund, which will be used for programs like education, health and social services, transportation, and natural resource protection.

Another $3 million dollars was transferred to the state’s Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund.