Wine in grocery stores bill headed to governor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Legislation allowing wine to be sold outside Tennessee liquor stores is headed to the governor for his consideration.

The Senate on Monday approved minor changes made by the House when the lower chamber passed its version of the bill 71-15 last month.

The proposal would grant authority to cities and counties that have package stores or liquor-by-the-drink sales to hold referendums on whether to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.

It also allows local votes to take place as early as this fall but would not allow supermarket wine sales until July 2016 at the earliest.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has said he will sign the bill if it comes to his desk.

Under current law, supermarkets and convenience stores can sell beer containing up to 6.5 percent alcohol by volume. Anything stronger can be sold only in package stores, which can't sell anything beyond booze and lottery tickets.


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