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Wine-in-grocery-stores backers start petition drive in Tennessee

June 10th, 2014 7:24 am by Chas Sisk, The Tennessean

Wine-in-grocery-stores backers start petition drive in Tennessee

As Ryan Venable watches, Breanna Becker signs a petition at a Nashville Kroger to get the wine issue on the November ballot.(Photo: Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean)

The push to put wine in grocery stores entered its second phase Monday, as supporters launched a statewide campaign to get the issue on the November ballot.

Red White and Food kicked off an effort to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures in the 156 communities where wine could be sold in grocery stores, if voters approve. The campaign comes after the General Assembly approved a wine-in-grocery-stores measure after years of legislative battles that pitted supermarkets against the state's politically powerful liquor stores and wholesalers.

"The bill's passage was just the beginning of the process," said Melissa Eads, a spokeswoman for Kroger. "The campaign is far from over."

The law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam in March requires voters to hold a local referendum before food retailers can begin stocking wine on their shelves. To get on the ballot, supporters must collect signatures from at least 10 percent of the voters in each community if they want wine sold in their local grocery store.

Read more with our partners at The Tennessean.

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