Wine in Grocery Stores Referendum will be on Shelby County November 4, 2014 Ballot

Full text of TN Senate Bill 837 [Ketron] and TN House Bill 610 [Lundberg] AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 2 and Title 57, relative to alcoholic beverages.

Residents in 80 communities in Tennessee will have the chance to vote for wine in retail stores when they go to the polls starting Oct. 15. If you are a registered voter in one of the municipalities listed below and you want to buy wine with your groceries, you can Vote FOR Wine this Election Day. If the wine-in-grocery-referendum passes, it won’t take effect until July 1, 2016

Shelby County communities that have collected the required number of valid signatures to place the wine referendum on the November ballot: Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Memphis, Millington – Red White and Food

Shelby County Election Commission Sample Ballot for November 4, 2014

Wine at retail food stores:
 For legal sale of wine at retail food stores in city of […]
 Against legal sale of wine at retail food stores in city of […]


The Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association continues to oppose this legislation.

“A movement is underway to liberalize the liquor laws in Tennessee by allowing wine to be sold in convenience and grocery stores.

Supporters say this legislation will make life easier for Tennesseans by allowing people to get alcohol when and where they want it.

But at what cost to Tennessee small business and public safety?

  • This bill specifies that a retail food store is an establishment that derives at least 20% of its taxable sales from the retail sale of food and food ingredients and has retail floor space of at least 1,200 square feet.
  • The Alcoholic Beverage Commission can begin issuing the new “retail food store wine licenses” on July 1, 2016.
  • However, no retail food store wine license shall be issued to an applicant for a location that is within 500 feet of an establishment holding a license prior to July 1, 2017, unless the ABC receives written permission from the current holder of such license.
  • The ABC will collect an annual $1,250 fee for each license.

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