New Alcohol Laws On Tap

A number of bills have recently been introduced in Lansing which propose to significantly impact Michigan's current liquor licensing process.  These bills are based largely on the recommendations of the Office of Regulatory Reinvention report issued June 29, 2012.  Among the highlights of the bills are:

  • Allow issuance of additional on-premise licenses in development project areas and development districts.
  • Allow for issuance of "conditional licenses" to applicants seeking to transfer ownership of a license for use at the same location, or seeking certain initial licenses.
  • Allow for issuance of special permits for farmers market wine tastings and sales.
  • Provide "Expedited Processing" of an application by an applicant that currently holds a liquor license.
  • Allow Michigan's small wineries and breweries to ship directly to consumers.
  • Reduce the gas station inventory threshold from $250,000 to $50,000.

Already a number of groups have lined up for and against the proposed changes and there will be significant input from interested parties.  If you would like more information regarding the impact these bills may have on your business, please contact Clark Hill's liquor licensing attorneys.