After a few months of confusion for communities, and after significant pressing from the Michigan Municipal League and our member communities, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) today published a bulletin that will once again clarify that League communities can receive one day liquor licenses!
While locals had always been to apply for and receive one-day liquor licenses in the past, the Attorney General’s office recently specified changed the interpretation of the rule governing these one-day licenses. They said that Administrative rule R 436.574 states that only nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for these one-day licenses, and local units of government do not qualify as nonprofit organizations.
The League has heard from many of its members, who have said that they have festivals and other events coming up and the expected dollars are crucial. The League also spoke with the Governor’s office and said that these festivals are about placemaking, and the one-day liquor licenses are key for these events.
The MLCC today reversed course and once-again allowed these licenses for League communities. They published a bulletin stating that these one-day licenses (called “special licenses” in the bulletin) are defined clearly in state law as a contract between the commission and the special licensee granting authority to that licensee to sell beer, wine, mixed spirit drink, or spirits. They said the following:
The Commission has express authority to grant special licenses to persons and organizations, and for the period of time the Commission determines. [MCLA 436.1111(11)] The statutory provisions are also clear that these beverages may be sold only for consumption on the premises. [MCL 436.1537(1)(h)] The fee for a special license is clearly established in statute as being $50 per day for persons and organizations, except that a non-profit association in existence for at least one year has a reduced license fee of $25. [MCL 436.1525(1)(r)]
They then clarified that the word “persons” includes an individual, firm, partnership, limited partnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation. [MCL 436.1111(1)] As such, incorporated local units of government qualify and can now be issued the one-day liquor licenses.
The bulletin is below.