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Politics

Wine in Grocery Stores Bill Signed Today, Hold the Toasts Till 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to sign a bill to allow supermarket wine sales into law on Thursday.

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.