It’s official. Starting this weekend, Tennesseans will be able to purchase wine and liquor on Sunday.
Gov. Bill Haslam signed the measure into law Friday, according to his office.
That means you’ll be able to buy wine and liquor in liquor stores perhaps as early as this weekend. It remains to be seen whether liquor stores will open this first weekend to take advantage of the new law.
But under the new law, sales of wine in grocery stores on Sundays must wait until Jan. 1.
► More: Sunday wine sales in Tennessee: What you need to know
► More: Gov. Bill Haslam says he’ll sign legislation allowing Sunday wine sales after Senate passage
The news comes after a somewhat controversial bill made its way through the legislature, including debates on whether there is biblical support for drinking wine.
The bill’s passage is to the chagrin of opponents who argued the Bible does not support drinking alcohol and to others who called the measure an affront to the state’s Southern culture.
But it’s a victory for the bill’s leading sponsor, Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, who also carried the previously passed measure to allow wine in grocery stores.
In addition to the Sunday sales, the new law has several other provisions.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Liquor stores can start selling wine and liquor this Sunday at 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.
- Liquor stores can’t sell wine and liquor on Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter
- The new law requires liquor stores to mark up spirits by 10 percent and wine by 20 percent
- The first Sunday grocery stores can sell wine is Jan. 6, from 10.m. to 11 p.m., but they may sell wine on any holiday
- No additional liquor store licenses will be issued in jurisdictions that have issued licenses prior to April 1 or to applicants who have filed after April 19, until July 1, 2021