The Michigan Legislature has passed SB 942, HB 5811 and HB 5781, which provide on-premises liquor license holders with a host of items to boost an industry that was harshly impacted by COVID-19. The bills will now head to the governor’s desk.
“The MLBA, in partnership with other industry groups, tried to follow the lead of other states that allowed drinks to go, as well as other helpful changes, when the COVID-19 pandemic first shut down bars and restaurants,” said MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis. “However, we were not able to come to a compromise on simple solutions, so we refocused on getting some long-term changes through legislatively.”
The package (READ THE FULL SUMMARIES HERE!)
- Raises the current 17 percent discount on spirits purchased from the state by an on-premises account to 23 percent for a 12-month period.
- Allows for drinks to go and the delivery of drinks by on-premises licensees until Dec. 31, 2025.
- Allows two-for-one pricing on drinks sold in a licensed establishment.
- Increases the amount of spirits an on-premises account can purchase from an off-premises account from nine liters per month (108 liters per year) to 120 liters per year with no monthly cap.
- Creates an exception to the aid and assistance rule to allow a manufacturer to refund a wholesaler for expired products.
- Allows small distilleries to sell drinks to go and samples in the licensed establishments.
- Allows local governmental units to establish social districts with a commons area that multiple on-premises licensees can use to increase sales via permit until Dec. 31, 2024.
“The MLBA has been working on some of these changes for more than a year-and-a-half and it’s great to finally see them make it to the finish line,” Ellis said. “These changes will be tremendously helpful in ensuring that bars, restaurants and the entire hospitality industry gets back on its feet and remains a staple of Michigan’s overall economy. We have worked with the governor on this and hope she will sign this package of bills as early as next week.”