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Tennessee Senate Passes Supermarket Wine Bill 23-8

Tennessee Senate Passes Supermarket Wine Bill 23-8

CREATED Jan 30, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee state Senate has passed a bill to allow local governments to hold votes on whether to allow wine sales in supermarkets and convenience stores.

The measure sponsored by Republican Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro was approved on a 23-8 vote after the companion bill was revived in the House this week.

The proposal would allow cities and counties to vote on grocery store wine sales as early as November, but wouldn't allow supermarkets to stock wine until at least July 2016.

The Senate version would require convenience stores to have at least 1,200 square feet to qualify for a wine sales license, while the House version would set that limit at 2,000 square feet.

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey issued a statement saying the vote was a great step forward for the state.

"For the first time, citizens will have the opportunity to purchase wine in their grocery store if the current bill passes. There is still a long way to go but Tennessee is moving forward in expanding consumer choice and spurring economic growth with this common-sense, pro-market measure," said Ramsey.  

Under current law, supermarkets can't sell anything stronger than beer.

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