There's a push for more than light wine sales in Mississippi gro - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

There's a push for more than light wine sales in Mississippi grocery stores

source: wlbt source: wlbt
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Unless it's a light wine with five percent or less alcohol content, you won't find it in a Mississippi grocery store. The coalition called "Looking for Wine?" includes Kroger, Walmart, smaller stores and interested citizens.

"If they are in wet counties, they want the convenience of being able to buy one where the other groceries and retail products," said lobbyist Camille Young.

Young is helping lead the effort for change. While convenience is the key factor, she said it could be a win-win for the state.

"It will be a tremendous boost in tax revenue from Mississippi," Young described. "We believe that will be an increase in jobs and an increase in wages."

David Rushing is operating partner at Joe T's Wines and Spirits in Ridgeland. He doesn't think the revenue discussion quite adds up.

"You've got x number of drinkers in the state," said Rushing. "Those numbers are going to increase. Those numbers are just going to be diluted to different places at lower prices, at lower tax revenue."

Rushing knows expanding wine sales to grocery stores would take away some of his business but doesn't know how much.

"I really think that we're opening up Pandora's box here," noted Rushing. "It's the peripheral issues that are going to come up about who's buying it, who selling it."

Rushing added that wine and spirit stores have such strict regulations that it seems more state laws would need to be amended if wine was also sold in grocery stores.

The "Looking for Wine?" coalition said it expects to have legislation filed this session to move towards getting wine in your grocery stores.

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