Tennessee distilling sites may be expanded

The production of distilled spirits in Tennessee is legal in only three counties. That could soon change.

A bill introduced by State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, to broaden that list has been approved by a 19-5 vote. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the House.

Right now, only Lincoln, Moore and Coffee coiunties are allowed to host spirits production facilities. Under the bill, other counties would be eligible if they have approved retail package sales and liquor-by-the-drink sales through voter referendum.

The individual county commissions would decide which companies could produce the spirits.

Ketron (left) earlier had withdrawn his sponsorship of a bill that would allow sales of wine in supermarkets.

Ketron's 13th Senate District covers part of Rutherford County and all of Maury, Marshall and Lincoln counties in middle Tennessee. He is the secretary for the Senate State and Local Government Committee, serves on the Senate Education Committee and Senate Government Operations Committee, and is a member of the Joint House-Senate Education Oversight Committee. He was first elected in November 2002 and won re-election in 2006.

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