TN Gov. Bill Haslam signs supermarket wine bill into law

TN Gov. Bill Haslam signs supermarket wine bill into law

March 20th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Gov. Bill Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Gov. Bill Haslam today signed into law a bill allowing local voters to approve sales of wine in grocery stores.

But that doesn't mean your neighborhood grocery store will be able to stock your favorite merlot or chardonnay any time soon.

The measure passed after years of legislative debate requires voters to first approve supermarket wine sales in a referendum. And even after that, the earliest wine could be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores would be in the summer of 2016 - or a year later if they are located near an existing liquor store.

The measure also allows liquor stores to begin selling items other than booze.

Haslam remained neutral on the issue while it was before lawmakers, but had pledged not to block its enactment once it passed.