Most of us have had that moment of heart-stopping realization: it’s late Saturday night and you forgot to make a liquor store run for your Sunday brunch party (or football pre-game). Knowing the stores won’t be open the next day, you race (or Uber) to the closest store. A new law headed to the Governor’s desk could allow you to wait until the next day: SUNDAY.
In Tennessee, it is against the law for wine and liquor to be sold on Sundays at retail stores, meaning liquor stores don’t even open. Tennesseans are still able to enjoy their beer if they buy it at grocery and convenience stores.
Recently, the Tennessee legislature has decided to make Sundays fun again and uncork the prohibition of Sunday wine and liquor sales. The Tennessee General Assembly approved HB 1540 that would allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays, as well as allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores on Sundays. That’s right: no more yellow tape around the wine display at Whole Foods.
Under this new law, grocery stores and liquor stores will be permitted to sell beer, wine, and liquor from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week. However, liquor will remain unavailable on Easter, Labor Day, New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It seems this new bill is a win-win for everyone because the bill is expected to increase state revenue in excess of $2,883,800 and increase local revenues across the state.
Tennessee’s House of Representatives passed the proposal on a 55-35 vote, but it was a closer call in the Senate with a 17-11 vote in favor. The bill is on Governor Haslam’s desk awaiting his signature.
What’s the Catch?
It is important to note that the new bill has two important caveats: Liquor stores will get a head start in front of grocery stores, as they will be permitted to open on Sundays as soon as the bill becomes a law. Grocery stores will have to wait until January 1, 2019 to start selling wine seven days a week.
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