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Petition aimed at getting wine in grocery stores approved in Church Hill

April 14th, 2014 8:59 pm by Jeff Bobo

Petition aimed at  getting wine in grocery  stores approved in Church Hill

CHURCH HILL — A Church Hill couple who led the charge to get liquor by the drink approved in the city through referendum two years ago is now ready to begin seeking signatures to allow wine sales in grocery stores.

Church Hill, Mount Carmel and Rogersville each held a referendum during the November 2012 election, and each approved the sale of liquor by the drink (LBD) in restaurants.

Rogersville also approved a liquor store referendum.

To date, Rogersville is the only city of the three to make use of its referendums, with two new liquor stores and one LBD license being issued.

On March 20, Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Wine in Retail Food Stores law, which allows Tennessee retail food stores to sell wine beginning July 1, 2016.

Also known as the wine in grocery stores law, or WIGS, the law states that cities and counties may not limit the number of WIGS licenses issued to eligible applicants, and the licenses would be issued by the alcoholic beverage commission.

A WIGS referendum can only be held in a county or city that has held and passed a referendum authorizing retail packages stores, or authorizing the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises.

That means in Hawkins County only Rogersville, Church Hill and Mount Carmel are eligible for a WIGS referendum this year.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Tuesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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