O’Malley’s ‘spirited’ bill flows through House committee

Categories: O’Malley News

Panel advances legislation allowing promotional items from spirit vendors

The House Regulatory Reform Committee today unanimously approved Rep. Jack O’Malley’s plan allowing spirit vendors to provide certain brand logoed items for special events and festivals. O’Malley’s legislation is part of a broader, three-bill package bringing parity between the spirits, beer and wine industries across Michigan.

Under O’Malley’s measure, manufacturers will be able to supply promotional items such as tents, draft taps, logoed mirrors and other equipment to special licensees to promote their products at festivals, fundraisers and other public events. The same freedoms already apply to beer and wine distributors after similar provisions were signed into law in 2018, creating an uneven playing field for spirit vendors.

“Michigan’s spirits industry is rapidly expanding and becoming an integral part of our state and local economies,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “We must even the playing field by extending the same opportunity to spirit suppliers and providing continuity within the alcohol industry. No industry should be treated differently than another.”

O’Malley noted current law has not been updated in decades and fails to reflect today’s modern alcohol industry.

“Michigan’s alcohol marketplace today compared to over 20 years ago is significantly different, and current law fails to regulate many present-day standard business practices within the industry,” O’Malley said. “It’s well past time we make these necessary changes to mirror today’s practices of the alcohol industry and support our local beer, wine and spirits manufacturers.”

O’Malley’s measure, House Bill 4621, along with House Bills 4620 and 4622 now advance to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.