February 7, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 38


February 06, 2023

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Deadline Extended for Michigan Liquor License Renewals Due to COVID-19

On February 26, 2021, Gov. Whitmer announced an extension of the April 30th license renewal deadline for Michigan liquor licensees. The extension will be implemented by administrative order issued by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Pursuant to the order, the license renewal expiration date will be extended from April 30 to July 30 for the 2021-2022 year, to assist licensees who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of the administrative order implemented by the MLCC, all liquor licenses issued by the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission, including all on premises, off premises, manufacturer, wholesaler and importer licenses must be renewed by the extended deadline of July 30, 2021.

In order for restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other liquor licensed operators to retain their licensed status with the ability to furnish and/or sell alcoholic beverages – whether at retail or wholesale – each Michigan licensee must renew their existing licenses on or prior to the extended deadline. The failure of an active licensee to timely renew a license is a violation of the Michigan Liquor Control Code and will subject the license to potential termination.

For those with licenses currently in escrow, different rules for renewal apply, but these licenses must also be renewed, despite the non-active status of the license. Finally, no exceptions to the renewal rules exist for recently issued licenses: liquor licenses issued in the 2020-2021 licensing year must be renewed by July 30, 2021 as well. Conditional Licenses may not be renewed, and continue to be  in effect for a period of one year from the date of issuance.

The members of Varnum’s Hospitality and Beverage Control Law Practice Group are currently responding to a number of license inquiries and are handling the renewal of the licenses for a number of our clients when so requested. In the event that you would like to obtain our assistance in this regard or have any questions regarding the impact of the State of Michigan's responses to the Corona/Covid-19 pandemic, please contact us. We would be happy to review and submit the appropriate documentation to the State of Michigan in order to assure that your license is properly renewed and delivered to you on a timely basis to avoid any suspensions of your license.

© 2023 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 62

About this Author

Christopher P. Baker, Varnum Law, Ann Arbor, Real Estate Attorney, Beverage Control Lawyer

Chris is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Team. He has significant experience representing retail license holders, including resorts, hotels, restaurants and retail developers. Chris also works with licensed suppliers, including brewers, distillers and wineries in all areas of alcoholic beverage regulatory matters, including licensing, enforcement and trade practice issues. He is well versed with the wholesale, distributor and importer provisions of the Michigan Liquor Control Code and regularly represents clients before the Michigan Liquor Control Commission...

Jailah D. Emerson Litigation Attorney Varnum Detroit, MI

Jailah is an associate at Varnum. She is a skilled researcher with experience in real estate, labor and employment, bankruptcy, commercial litigation and corporate matters. Prior to joining Varnum, she served as a legal intern at the U.S. Dept. of Justice and in the general counsel office of a publicly-traded utility. She also served as a legal extern to the Honorable Victoria A. Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.