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            Although liquor licenses are considered a privilege and not property, they are nonetheless encumbered, transferred, sold and leased as if they were personal property.




            While originally the number of liquor licenses available in a particular area was determined by whether that area’s local option district (“LOD”) initially allowed alcohol in its LOD and the if alcohol was allowed, the number of licenses was restricted to one license per 2,000 people. In the past three decades, that formula has been modified to allow:


            1.         restricted over quota transfers of full service licenses into areas where there was significant demand (i.e. Albuquerque, Farmington, Santa Fe, etc); and

            2.         the issuance of new restricted restaurant (beer and wine) licenses.


            While these modifications to the population based license quota solved some of the problems for establishments which sell primarily food or liquor by the drink, the prices of by the drink licenses or licenses which retain their package privileges is driven by supply and demand as there are currently no new licenses of this type being issued.

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