Since 1974, Tennessee required retail liquor license applicants to have lived in the state for two years and those looking for renewals to for 10 consecutive years, eliminating the possibility for chains to obtain licenses. The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association led a seven year legislative effort to change the law, culminating in their 2016 victory.
As of 2016, Tennessee grocery, club, drug, dollar, and convenience stores are permitted to sell wine and beer. Tennessee requires two permits to sell alcohol – one from the state to sell wine and liquor, and the other from the city to sell beer.
Dozens of new jobs were created throughout Tennessee grocery stores after this bill became law. This legislation also had no negative public health implications on Tennessee residents. In 2015, there were over 6,500 alcohol related driving accidents in the state. Two years after alcohol chain store sales were legalized, these accidents decreased by 1%. Furthermore, consumers have enjoyed lower prices of alcohol since this initiative passed. For example, according to the Tennessee Fiscal Review Committee, the average price of a bottle of wine in Tennessee was $7.98. Due to increased competition, the average price declined by almost 5% to $7.58.