The Next Phase For Wine In Grocery Stores: Petitioning For Local Referendums

The bill passed this spring by state lawmakers and signed by the governor permits local referendums to give final approval for grocery stores to start selling wine. Such votes could take place as early as this fall, given enough signatures to get the matter on the ballot, but the change wouldn't take effect until 2016. (Photo: Karin Beil/flickr)

The bill passed this spring by state lawmakers and signed by the governor permits local referendums to give final approval for grocery stores to start selling wine. Such votes could take place as early as this fall, given enough signatures to get the matter on the ballot, but the change wouldn’t take effect until 2016. (Photo: Karin Beil/flickr)

The coalition of grocery stores who want to sell wine in Tennessee will spearhead a petition drive to get the matter on local ballots this fall.  It’s the latest effort from Red, White and Food, which pushed for the bill that passed the state legislature this spring.

Local voters still have to sign off before their grocery stores can sell wine.  For that to happen, it’ll take signatures, and lots of them—more than 10 thousand in Davidson County alone.  Kroger Marketing Manager Melissa Eads:

“I think a lot of people may think hey, alright! Wine is coming to my Kroger store! And we’ve not made it over that last hill, so to speak.  We still have to get this on the ballot.”

Eads acknowledges some parts of the state may be tougher to win over than others, and says it’s possible the campaign from Red White and Food could include ad buys.

Even where voters approve the sale of wine, under the new law it can’t actually be sold in Tennessee grocery stores until 2016.

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