New law will streamline the market for ready-to-drink cocktails, allow distillers to self-distribute
LANSING — The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesales Association (MB&WWA) today applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signing bills into law to help Michigan’s burgeoning distilling industry. Senate Bills 141-144 — which passed the Senate on March 25 with strong bipartisan support and the Michigan House unanimously on May 6 — will provide a boost to Michigan’s craft distillers, retailers and beer and wine distributors by reducing red tape and creating a viable market for ready-to-drink cocktails.
“Ready-to-drink cocktails are one of the fastest growing segments in the spirits industry, but in Michigan they fall under several different categories and are taxed differently — creating confusion for distillers, retailers and distributors,” said MB&WWA President Spencer Nevins. “These bills will streamline how ready-to-drink cocktails are taxed and classified, which will provide a boost to Michigan’s flourishing craft distilling industry.”
The law will also create a strong regulatory framework for retailers who have a physical presence in Michigan to ship beer, wine and spirits directly to consumers. Currently, only wine can be shipped to Michiganders from in-state retailers. The laws will also allow small craft distillers to self-distribute their spirits, just like small brewers and winemakers.
“These commonsense laws are a win for distillers, retailers and consumers, and I want to thank the governor for signing these bills into law and the Michigan Senate and House for passing this important legislation,” Nevins said.
SBs 141-144 are similar to legislation passed last year that was eventually pocket vetoed by the governor. However, this package of bills only impacts canned ready-to-drink cocktails and does not apply to products currently distributed through Michigan’s controlled state system, which is overseen by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
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