The bill letting Tennessee grocery stores sell wine is now on its way to the governor, who is expected to sign it. One of the first changes to reach consumers will actually be a piece letting them buy beer in liquor stores.
It’ll take a local referendum before corner stores can sell wine in Tennessee — at the earliest in summer of 2016. Not so for liquor stores. Since they’re effectively losing a monopoly on wine in the state, the compromise for the bill allows them to sell more than just liquor — and that includes beer.
The measure’s main Senate backer, Bill Ketron, says “They’ve never sold a Coca Cola, they’ve never sold a mixer or cheese or anything else, but it’s a new opportunity for them to knock down that wall and renovate and change their business model.”
That wall Ketron refers to might even be literal: It’s not unheard of in Tennessee for a liquor store’s owner to also run a shop for beer and chips right next door.
They could start remodeling soon, as liquor stores will be allowed to start selling certain non-liquor items on July 1, 2014. You can read a summary of the bill here.