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Minnesota running out of booze, cigarettes due to government shutdown

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Update (1 p.m. ET): MillerCoors has been ordered to pull all of their beer products from Minnesota store shelves.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety told the Star Tribune that the products had to be removed because the company did not renew their brand label registration before a government shutdown began.

Some of the popular brands included Coors Light, Miller Lite and Blue Moon. MillerCoors said they would fight decision.

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Original report continues below…

The liquor industry has become the latest victim of a government shutdown in Minnesota.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday that bars, restaurants and stores are already running out of supplies because many of them must renew their $20 state-issued alcohol purchasing cards before replenishing inventories.

Already 425 establishments have been left with expired cards and it’s just expected to get worse. Another 116 cannot buy liquor because they can’t pay their delinquent tax bills.

“This is going to treadmill across the whole state the longer [the Republican lawmakers] hold out,” Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton told the paper. “It’s going to hit every bar and restaurant that needs a liquor license.”

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“This doesn’t just affect retailers, but wholesalers, and the manufacturers, and wedding parties, and church functions, and one day liquor licenses for charity events, and festivals and the list goes on and on and on,” Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association’s Frank Ball told KARE 11.

If the issue isn’t resolved by Labor Day, cigarette smokers could be in the same situation.

Watch this video from KARE 11, broadcast July 13, 2011.

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