LANSING — Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) has introduced legislation that would allow Michigan residents to have shipments from Michigan distilleries, and out of state wine and spirit retailers delivered right to their doorsteps.
Senate Bill 819 would fix an existing law that prohibits the direct sale of wine and spirits from out-of-state wine retailers. Additionally, it would allow in-state distilleries sell directly to Michigan consumers.
“In an era when consumers can get everything from glasses to mattresses to razors and meal kits delivered right to their homes, this legislation just makes sense,” Sen. McMorrow said. “And more importantly, with Michiganders able to order from wineries and distilleries from around the country, this bill will expand much-needed tax revenue for the state and allow local Michigan wineries and distilleries to grow their businesses by selling direct to Michiganders all around the state and delivering right to their doorsteps.”
Under this legislation, an out-of-state retailer could ship alcohol to individuals in Michigan if it receives a qualified out-of-state retailer license. The retailer would be required to register with the State of Michigan, pay sales tax, verify the age of the person ordering, and file regular reports on what has been shipped into the state.
A spirits shipper — one selling or delivering spirits to Michigan consumers that were either produced by the shipper or purchased from another distiller — must meet the same criteria and would be required to limit the number of cases or liters of spirits that a consumer could have shipped. In addition, an adult signature would also be required at the time of delivery.
“This self-distribution legislation would be an instant game changer for Michigan craft distilling and the local agricultural industries,” said Rich Lockwood, owner of Motor City Gas Whiskey Distillery in Royal Oak. “Not only would it make it easier for new small distillers to enter the industry, but it creates a bridge for existing small distillers like Motor City Gas to grow into regular retail distribution.”
Michigan federal courts have twice ruled, in 2008 and 2019, that state laws discriminating against out-of-state retailers and clubs are unconstitutional.
“Today’s consumers demand home delivery in most of the things they purchase,” Lockwood added. “It’s becoming more difficult every year for any business to survive without the ability to directly ship to their customers. It’s time for these laws that prohibit modern-day commerce to catch up with times.”
The bill has been referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee.
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