Michigan Governor signs bill allowing bars to sell alcoholic drinks to-go, discounts on liquor

Posted at 9:59 AM, Jul 02, 2020

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills Wednesday that will allow restaurants and bars to sell cocktails and alcoholic beverages to-go.

According to the governor's office, the bills were aimed to provide relief for restaurants and bars. They will be able to sell drinks to-go and deliver them until the end of 2025.

“The MLBA, its members, and all 8,500 licensees throughout the state have something to be excited about today,” said Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Scott Ellis. “We would like to thank Governor Whitmer, Senator Nesbitt, Representative Webber, and Representative Anthony for their focus and hard work for bringing these ideas to fruition in a timely manner.”

The bills

  • 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 number 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.

“These bills are critical to the survival of the hospitality industry because we don’t know how long we will be operating at this reduced capacity while many bars are continuing to accrue debt and face financial hardship,” Ellis added. “Everything in this package will help businesses with their long-term recovery as we continue to transition back to normal.”

Last month, the State Senate passed the package of bills 37-1 just two weeks after it was introduced.

You can read the summaries below.

Whitmer signs bill allowing bars to sell alcoholic drinks to-go, discounts on liquor by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

WXYZ first reported this story.