With Haslam signature, legal Sunday booze sales can begin this weekend

Gov. Bill  Haslam today signed into law legislation that authorizes Sunday sales of liquor and wine, according to his communications department. The bill (HB1540) says that, insofar as liquor stores go, it takes effect “upon becoming law” – meaning when governor signs it.

Thus, Tennessee liquor stores could legally be open on this Sunday if the operators wish – or have time to prepare. But the bill also declares the effective date for grocery stores and supermarkets that sell wine only is Jan. 1, 2019. The first Sunday after that date is Jan. 6, 2019.

Here’s a summary of the provisions from the governor’s office:

Retail Package Stores:

  • Retail package stores can begin selling alcoholic beverages on Sunday, April 22, 2018, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
  • Retail package store shall not sell alcoholic beverages on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter.
  • Retail package stores must immediately begin “marking up” the price of spirits by ten percent (10%). The minimum markup for wine remains 20%.

o    Please refer to the Unfair Wine Sales Law FAQ for information regarding the markup calculations and agency interpretation.

Retail Food (Grocery) Stores

  • Retail food stores cannot sell wine on Sunday until January 6, 2019.
  • Beginning on January 6, 2019, retail food stores may begin selling wine on Sundays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
  • Retail food stores may sell wine on any holiday.

Moratorium on New Retail Package Stores in Jurisdictions that Approved Package Stores before April 1, 2018

  • To obtain a retail package store license in a jurisdiction that approved retail package stores before April 1, 2018, an applicant must have had filed and paid for a retail package store license application on or before April 19, 2018, or an applicant must acquire the right to purchase an existing licensee in that jurisdiction.
  • The moratorium does not apply to jurisdictions who pass referenda authorizing retail package stores after April 1, 2018.
  • The moratorium expires on July 1, 2021.

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