Sen. Bill Ketron (R-13) filed SB0012 which would remove all authority from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to regulate distilled spirits or their manufacture and wholesale by deleting Tenn. Code Ann. § 53-1-103(a) subdivision 12 from the Tennessee Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act. The Bill also adds new sections under Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 53-1-201 et seq and 57-3-401 et seq stipulating that all inspections and regulations of distilled spirits are under the authority of the Alcohol & Beverage Commission and subject to federal requirements and permits by the U.S. Treasury Department, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and the Department of Revenue.
The recent deregulation of distilleries in Tennessee has opened up new job and business opportunities for farmers and distillers across the state. Together with the lobby for wine in grocery stores, Tennessee’s evolving liquor laws have proven a popular ground for citizen involvement in state politics.