HBs 4960-4961 ensures large, foreign producers can’t crowd out small craft brewers and winemakers
LANSING – The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association today applauded Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist for signing bills into law supporting Michigan’s vibrant craft beer and wine industries by prohibiting large, foreign producers from placing burdensome rules on Michigan’s beer and wine distributors.
“We applaud Lt. Gov. Gilchrist and the Legislature for standing up to large beer and wine producers and sending a strong message that the growth of Michigan’s beer and wine industries won’t be stymied by foreign producers, regardless how much clout they might have,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “Michigan’s beer and wine industries have grown by leaps and bounds over the years and this new law will ensure breweries and wineries continue to grow and thrive.”
House Bills 4960-4961, also known as the Distributor Independence Act, passed the Michigan House last month with strong bipartisan support, receiving more than 100 “yes” votes. The bills passed the Senate earlier this month by a unanimous vote.
“Michigan is a Top 5 producer of beer and Top 10 producer of wine in the country, and the state’s beer and wine industries are poised to keep growing, thanks to a system that promotes fairness, choice, competition and a level playing field,” Nevins said.
Public Acts 126 and 127 of 2019 make it illegal for suppliers to:
- Require a wholesaler to provide financial records related to any of the following:
- Other brands sold by the wholesaler
- Compensation of a wholesaler’s employees
- Business operations not directly related to the distribution of the brands sold by that supplier
- Require a wholesaler to spend the vast majority of their resources marketing or promoting the brands sold by that supplier that is based on the wholesaler’s sales revenue generated by that supplier’s brands
- Force a distributor to accept shipments that exceed the order placed by a wholesaler or the forecast submitted by the wholesaler
- Prohibit a wholesaler from having competing brands on a supplier brand logoed truck
- Require a distributor to pay for reporting software owned or mandated by a supplier
- Require a wholesaler to pay a fee for noncompliance with a supplier requirement that is not part of a corrective action plan for nonperformance
- Set or attempt to set the compensation for wholesaler employees, including incentives
- Prohibit a wholesaler from utilizing any wholesaler-owned property or equipment to market, promote or deliver brands of another supplier
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