Group gathers signatures in support of whiskey

Group gathers signatures in support of whiskey

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CHATTANOOGA (AP) - A group that favors allowing whiskey distilleries in Chattanooga has begun collecting petition signatures in an effort to take the issue to voters.

Chris Smith, a spokesman for Let Hamilton Distill, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press early last week that about 1,500 signatures had been collected. The group needs 14,000 for the effort to go to referendum.

Whether to allow distilleries in Hamilton County started getting attention last year when Chattanooga Whiskey Co. began making Chattanooga whiskey, which is distilled in Lawrenceburg, Ind., due to prohibition-era statutes.

Company President Joe Ledbetter has said distilling the product locally would mean more than a dozen jobs and $150,000 annually in tax and tourism dollars.

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