LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal judge has given approval to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to start issuing wine permits for grocery stores.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that grocery and convenience stores that were limited to selling only small-batch farm wines will now be able to expand their selections to include all wine varieties as early as Thursday. Only liquor stores had been authorized to sell all wine varieties in the state.

The law creating a grocery-store wine permit officially took effect Oct. 1. But Tuesday’s meeting was the first chance the board had to consider more than 200 permit applications that have been waiting at least 30 days.

Liquor stores had argued that grocers were subject to less strict requirements. But the judge says liquor stores have stricter rules because they also sell hard liquor.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com