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Haslam signs supermarket wine bill into law

March 20th, 2014 2:37 pm by LUCAS L. JOHNSON II, Associated Press

Haslam signs supermarket wine bill into law

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is applauded after signing a bill to allow supermarket wine sales into law on Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed into law legislation to allow supermarket wine sales in Tennessee.

Haslam was joined by the measure's sponsors and Senate and House speakers at the signing on Thursday.

The legislation 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.

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