Wine in groceries now stalled But bill sponsor predicts success eventually
The latest effort to legalize the sale of wine in Tennessee grocery stores appears stalled at the starting gate, but the sponsor insists that it’s only a matter of time until the effort is successful.
Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, on Jan. 26 filed HB2874, which would allow sales of wine in supermarkets or groceries in any jurisdiction where voters approved it in a local referendum.
But no companion bill was filed in the Senate and the deadline for doing so has passed, meaning the measure cannot become law.
Bills that would pave the way for the sale of wine in grocery stores have failed repeatedly in recent years in the face of strong opposition from liquor and wine store owners.
“Who could be against letting people vote?” Lundberg asked.
David McMahan, lobbyist for the Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association, is against the proposal.
He deemed it “worse than the original.”
He predicted that leaving sales to local referendums would mean “the Wal-Marts, Costcos and other big box stores” would spend large sums of money in local campaigns to “spread misinformation.”