The Governor signed two pieces of legislation on January 5th that will open up new sales opportunities for alcohol retailers across Michigan. As discussed in greater detail in previous editions of this publication off-premise retailers will now be able to sell growlers, ship wine, and deliver products. This article is meant to provide more specifics on these new sales opportunities.
Any retailer with both an SDM and an SDD license will be allowed to sell beer in growlers beginning April 9, 2017. There is no additional license, registration, or special approval needed to sell this new product however, there are some specific procedures you must follow. To fill and sell growlers a retailer must comply with the following:
- The growler is sealed and has a label affixed to it that includes at least the brand name of the beer, the class of the beer, the net contents of the container, and the name of the retailer filling the growler.
- The merchant or his or her agent or employee shall not fill a growler in advance of the sale.
- The eligible merchant or his or her agent or employee shall only use containers that have a capacity of 5 gallons or more to fill a growler.
- The beer to be dispensed has received a registration number from the commission and has been approved for sale by the commission.
- The eligible merchant complies with all applicable rules promulgated by the commission.
Beginning March 29, 2017 retailers holding an SDM license will be able to ship wine via a common carrier. A common carrier includes shippers like UPS and FedEx. The benefits of being able to easily ship product to a customer are plentiful however, if a retailer chooses to utilize this new law they should be aware of many requirements they must comply with to do so. These requirements are as follows:
- Pay any applicable taxes on the product.
- Comply with all laws of this state including, but not limiting to, the prohibition on sales to minors.
- Verify the age of the individual placing the order by obtaining from him or her a copy of a photo identification issued by a governmental entity.
- Record the name, address, date of birth, and telephone number of the individual placing the order.
- Stamp, print, or label on the outside of the shipping container “Contains alcohol. Must be delivered to a person 21 years of age or older”.
- Place a label on the top panel of the shipping container containing the name and address of the individual who placed the order and the name of the designated recipient if different from the name of the individual placing the order.
It is also expected the MLCC will come out with a standard ordering form for sales that include shipping as part of the sale retailers will need to fill out. While this is not certain, it is definitely being discussed.
While some of these requirements may seem like common sense and others may seem tedious they are in place to ensure out of state retailers do not infringe on your business. This information is being gathered so retailers from outside of Michigan can be caught and punished for illegally selling into our state.
Beginning March 29, 2017 retailers holding and SDM license will be able to deliver beer and wine directly to a customer’s home or other designated location and a retailer holding and SDD will be able to deliver spirits directly to a customer’s home or other designated location. In both cases the delivery must be done by the owner or employee of the licensed business. Additionally, the retailer or their employee will need to verify the recipient is 21 years of age upon delivery. If the retailer or their employee offers serving services to consumers the retailer or employee must be TIPS trained.
Additionally, a retailer can work with a third party facilitator service by means of the internet or mobile application to facilitate the sale of beer, wine, or spirits.
I hope this provides greater detail on these newly enacted laws. If further questions exist please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.