A bill that would require the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to issue a conditional liquor license to retailers who are waiting for their full application to be approved recently passed the Michigan House and awaits action in the Senate.
The Michigan legislature is back today after an extended break.
The bill, while admittedly devoid of bells and whistles, would be big for retailers who are either trying to transfer a liquor license or applying for an initial license.
The current Liquor Control Code requires the LCC to make a determination on a license application no more than 90 days after the completed application is submitted. But some retailers have complained about waiting months, if not years, to have their license approved.
This legislation would allow retailers to apply for a conditional license to operate, legally, while they wait for final approval.
“The bill would amend Section 525 of the Liquor Control Code to require the LCC to provide for a conditional license to an applicant for use during the application review process.
Specifically, the LCC would be required to issue a conditional license to an applicant seeking to (1) transfer an existing license to sell alcoholic liquor for consumption on or off the premises at the same location; or (2) obtain an initial license, except for a specially designated distributor license or for the sale of alcoholic liquor for consumption on the premises, as long as the applicant has submitted a completed application and acceptable proof of financial responsibility. The license would have to be issued within 14 days of the request.
The conditional license would expire when the LCC issues a final order either approving or denying the application or 1-year after the date it was issued, whichever happens first.
If a conditionally approved licensee fails to maintain acceptable proof of its financial responsibility, the LCC would be required to suspend the license until acceptable proof is filed, provided that due notice was given and a proper hearing took place.”
There was no opposition during committee debate, although the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Townships Association were neutral on the bill.
The bill passed the House on September 27th on a vote of 105-2.