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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Bladen County has long been a dry county, but with muscadine vines now growing in fields that used to grow tobacco, some are calling for the sale of alcoholic beverages to become legal.

“It’s hard for me to explain to my friends that I meet from outside of the area why we can’t even sell our own product in our own county,” said Ron Taylor, who owns Lu Mil Vineyard in Dublin.

Taylor recently approached county commissioners asking for a countywide vote to allow the sale of beer, wine, and liquor. It’s a decision he says won’t be popular with everybody.

“My mother was a teetotaler, and I’m sure that she would ball up her fist every time that anyone mentioned alcohol,” Taylor said. “She was a very strict Southern Baptist.”

But Taylor argues that even his late mother could see the benefits of allowing liquor sales in a county that is branching out to rebuild from the collapse of the tobacco industry.

“There’s an overwhelming demand on taxes that are collected in our area now,” he said. “I think it would be a great revenue boost for our county to be able to collect the revenues off of products that are already being consumed in our county, and yet they’re bought somewhere else. I think it would be in some way for bladen county to be accepted more widely from the traveling public.”

We tried to speak with county commissioners about this topic, but were told that County Manager Greg Martin told them not to comment to the media.

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