The first off-premise alcohol permits for Lubbock businesses are signed, sealed, and delivered. That means it could only be a matter of weeks before alcohol hits shelves.
Folks from local 7-11 stores say they're about 75-percent through the process to start selling alcohol. One of the final steps came today, from the Lubbock County Judge. And 7-11 stores are one of the first for that step, to be approved.
Part of the permit process requires an 'off-premise' prequalification packet signed by a Lubbock County Judge. Thursday afternoon -- about 20 landed on Judge Tom Head's desk.
These are the first to be signed off, and we're told all 20 were for 7-11 stores. Market manager Ryan Suttles says this is one of the last steps before alcohol is for sale in his stores. All that's left now to get is a few signatures from state TABC officials. That should take about two to three weeks.
Ryan Suttles, Market Manager, 7-11: "Judge Head's office was maybe a 3-minute process. Which, so far, is the most timely and easiest of all the things that we've done. It's very much a moving target, that's the best words I would use to describe it, the process. It's a moving target, and if everything goes our way, October 1st. If there's a few delays, maybe the 15th. But somewhere between there."
Suttles says they're ready to go, and once they get the official permit it won't take long for a shipment. He says he'd like to sell alcohol within the hour of earning that permit.