Legislative Updates

SDD Intracounty Transfer: On December 12, 2013, HB 5140 cleared both chambers of the legislature and is awaiting Gov. Snyder's signature. (If signed into law, as expected shortly, SDD licenses could transfer location anywhere within the county where the SDD license was originally issued.) No local approval is required but the '1/2 mile Rule' under R 436.1133 would be applicable to the new location. Also, the number of SDD Resort licenses available for the MLCC to issue annually would increase from 10 to 15 beginning in 2014. This law, if signed, would be effective 90 days after filing with the Secretary of State. This law could have a major impact on SDM licensees looking to expand their business with SDD licenses in areas that are at or over their quota as it greatly expands the pool of available SDD licenses in many cities and townships. Don't hesitate to contact Carlin Edwards Brown to research SDD license availability for your location and assist you in securing an SDD license.

BYO Wine: HB 5140 also successfully passed through the legislative process on December 12, 2013 and is awaiting Gov. Snyder's signature. This law allows customers of an on-premises licensee to bring a sealed bottle of wine into the establishment for consumption on the premises. The allowance by the licensee is completely optional and the licensee may charge a corkage fee if so desired.

Conditional License: HB 5140 received final passage from the legislature on December 12, 2013 and is on its way to Gov. Snyder for his signature, hopefully. This bill creates a temporary "conditional license" allowing the applicant to operate the business while the MLCC investigation is ongoing. However, this important piece of legislation is tie-barred to numerous other bills, including a hotly disputed bill involving "secondary use" advertising, so a final outcome will not be resolved until 2014, if at all.

In addition to the three bills noted above, several other bills involving the alcoholic beverage industry. Many of these bills also saw additional action in the last month but, like the Conditional License bill mentioned above, many of them are tie-barred. Unfortunately, the tie-bar status may hinder further movement on many of the other liquor bills due to the contentious nature of SB 505 which proposes to prohibit any expansion of Michigan's already extremely restricted use of secondary value advertising items. The Senate's insistence of tie-barring numerous bills, including SB 505, makes final passage of the entire package of bills uncertain at this point in time. Below is a brief description of other recent legislative activity

Brewers/Micro Brewers/Brewpubs Expansion (HB 4709, HB 4710, HB 4711): Provides for the expansion of production limits and/or location outlets for Brewpubs, Micro Brewers and Brewers. This series of bills all easily passed the House and are awaiting action in the Senate. While currently stand alone bills, based on recent legislative manipulation of other liquor bills, these may also end up tie-barred to other outstanding liquor bills.

Micro Brewer Self Distribution (SB 650): Allows Micro Brewers limited self-distribution to retail licensees. Passed Senate and now awaiting action in the House. This bill is already tie-barred to other liquor bills.

Secondary Use Items (SB 505): Prohibits expanding the use of brand logoed merchandise by retail licensees. However, the use of brand logoed glassware by on-premises licensees would be allowed if purchased from a third party. Tie-barred to numerous other pending liquor bills and is by far the most contentious of the tie-barred bills. Passed Senate and awaiting action in the House.

Secondary Use Items (SB 462): Prohibits the MLCC from restricting the use of brand-logoed merchandise in on-premises establishments (the anti-SB 505). Introduced 8/27/13 and referred to Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform with no further action taken to date.