NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Joint Study Committee on Wine in Grocery Stores will begin what could be a year-long process tomorrow to review whether Tennessee should allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell wine, according to reports.
The panel, including six Republicans and four Democrats, is the result of a House Joint Resolution passed in the state earlier this year. The committee will provide its recommendation to the legislature after next year’s election.
At either side of the debate are the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association and the Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association.
Last year the TGCSA launched Red, White and Food to urge consumers to contact lawmakers to lift a restriction that bars food stores from selling wine, in addition to beer. It advocates creating a license that allows food retailers to sell wine; restricting licenses to localities where citizens have voted for retail package stores; and providing liquor stores the opportunity to sell ice, soft drinks, glasses and other items associated with alcoholic beverages.
The TWSRA contends wine at grocery would threaten more than 500 Tennessee small businesses and 3,000 workers. It distributes a petition to "Stop Wine in Convenience and Grocery Stores."
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