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

March 1, 2021
Hospitality & Beverage Control Advisory

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.

If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Hospitality and Beverage Control Law Practice Group including Christopher P. Baker, 734/372-2922, cpbaker@varnumlaw.com and Jailah D. Emerson, 313/481-7346, jdemerson@varnumlaw.com.

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