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Michigan Licensed Beverage Association

Serving Liquor Licensees Since 1939

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Michigan Spirits Buy Back-Program – Step by Step Instructions

Mason Doerr  | Published on 4/16/2020

by Attorney J. Patrick Howe of JP Howe PLLC

Are you looking for a cash infusion during this challenging time when your on-premise establishment cannot operate in Michigan?   Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer authorized the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to “buy back” spirits (not beer and wine), that were purchased by on-premises licensees prior to March 16, 2020.

The licensee will have the option to either “buy back” the spirits that it sold to the Commission within the 90 day period following the expiration of Michigan’s declared state of emergency.  Any spirits which are not bought back by the licensee, must be surrendered to the Commission after the 90 day buy back period expires.  A licensee will not be permitted to purchase spirits from the Commission until it either buys back the spirits that it sold to the Commission under this program, or surrenders those products to the Commission.

A licensee must opt in to this buy back program no later than Friday, April 17th at 5:00 PM EST, so time is of the essence.

Here is a step by step guide for participating in the Spirits Buy Back Program:


Confirm that the licensee can attest to the following:

  1. The person completing the applicaation is duly authorized to file the application on behalf of the licensee;
  2. The  licensee acknowledges that the licensee will not be permitted to purchase additional spirits from the Commission 90 days after the expiration of the current emergency unless it repurchases the spirits for which it receives payment, or the spirits are surrendered to the Commission;
  3. The spirits that the licensee is applying to sell back to the Commission are: (i) unopened, (ii) saleable, and (iii) not expired or delisted;
  4. The licensee does not have any unpaid non-sufficient funds (NSF) payments to the Commission; and
  5. The licensee’s license was active (i.e. not in escrow with the Commission) as of 11:59 p.m. on March 10, 2020.


Generate a list of spirits that the licensee wants to sell back to the Commission, which should include the following information:

  1. State product code
  2. Product brand
  3. Product name
  4. Size
  5. Bottle quantity
  6. Total purchase price for each product being returned
  7. Total purchase price for all products being returned


Insert the inventory information gathered above on the MLCC “Spirits Product Listing Form” which can be found at the following link:


Email the Spirits Product Listing Form to: or mail the form (with postmark no later than of April 17th) to Mari Clark, P.O. Box 30005, Lansing, MI 48908.


With the (i) Licensee name, (ii) Business ID #, (iii) License #, and (iv) total purchase price for all spirit products being returned on hand, proceed to complete the online Spirits Buy Back Application, which can be found at the following link:,4601,7-154-89334_10570_14173_15099_98513-521980–,00.html

Once the filed application is approved by the Commission, the Michigan Department of Treasury will issue a check for the total purchase price for all spirit products being returned.  It is completely unclear how long it will take for checks to be issued to licensees.

All products sold back to the Commission must be kept in unopened and saleable condition until such time as the products are either bought back by the licensee, or surrendered to the Commission.





Patrick Howe
Attorney & Counselor at Law
280 N. Old Woodward, Suite 12
Birmingham, Michigan 48009