The state House of Representatives state government committee approved an amendment to the "Wine in Grocery Stores" bill that would allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer with up to 8 percent alcohol by weight (currently it's capped at 5 percent). As Rep. Curry Todd noted, that will take beer with that volume of alcohol out of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission's jurisdiction, and put local governments in charge of its regulation. However, high-gravity beer with alcohol by weight above 8 percent will still be regulated by the TACB. Todd was not in favor of the amendment, and said he worried that kids will be able to easily steal high-gravity beer from convenience stores, and get into more trouble or danger. He also wondered whether this opens the door for the cap on beer's alcohol by weight to be raised more easily in the future.
"I would rather kill this bill," Todd said.
But Knoxville Rep. Ryan Haynes' amendment was passed, and his bill will move on.
However, the state Senate deferred action on the bill until tomorrow, when it will be heard by the Senate's state and local government committee. We'll keep you posted.