KINGSPORT — Legislation enabling localities to hold referendums authorizing Tennessee grocery stores to sell wine will pass in the General Assembly’s next session, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey predicted at a Kingsport Kiwanis Club luncheon on Friday.
“I am for wine in grocery stores,” said Ramsey, R-Blountville. “...When I talk to (Food City CEO) Steve Smith, he says he’s selling wine in his grocery stores to Tennesseans right now, they just happen to be coming to (Food City locations in) Virginia to get it. This is a commerce issue.”
This year’s wine-in-grocery-stores bill died in a House Local Government Committee after its chairman, Jonesborough GOP state Rep. Matthew Hill, cast the deciding vote against it.
Ramsey promised a comprise will be worked out with liquor store owners — who now sell wine exclusively in Tennessee — to give them a “level playing field” with retailers.
See Saturday's print edition for an expanded version of this story.
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