Today the House passed SB 79, a bill to allow small wine makers (making less than 5,000 gallons of wine per year) to sell and provide tastings at local farmers markets. A new “farmers market permit” is created that the small wine maker must obtain from the liquor control commission. A small wine maker would have to obtain approval from the farmers market manager and the local police department prior to a permit being issued.
The permits are subject to the quota system. There will be one farmers market permit allowed for every 1500 population in the county.
There is a 60 day implementation period from signage of the bill to allow the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to get all the necessary paperwork around before it goes into effect. There is also a 2 year reporting requirement for the liquor control commission to provide an assessment to the legislature on the effectiveness of these permits and whether they should continue to issue them.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-908-0305.