Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – July 15, 2022

  1. Supreme Court Ruling Shouldn’t Affect Michigan’s Healthy Climate Plan

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling limiting the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants should not affect Michigan’s course of following through with the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which was first released in April 2021. The MI Healthy Climate plan seeks interim reductions of 28% by 2025 and 52% by 2030.

Why it Matters: Businesses should continue to plan for the implementation of the MI Healthy Climate plan and other regulations as the state continues to shift towards the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050. If you have environmental issues with state and/or federal agencies, contact our environmental attorneys.


  1. Several Groups Send Letter to LARA Seeking Adoption of International Energy Standards

Several groups have sent the department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs seeking them to adopt a set of international energy standards for residential and commercial buildings in preparation of electric vehicle charging and to help reduce climate impact.

Why it Matters: Including reducing climate impact, the groups have touted hundreds of dollars in energy cost savings for Michigan residents with the adoption of the new standards. “These provisions will lower costs for Michigan residents and businesses, increase household resilience from extreme weather events, and help reduce climate impacts from the building sector,” the groups wrote.


  1. Tax Reform Goals Priority for New “Fund MI Future” Coalition

A collection of 20 organizations have formed a newly created coalition with the aim of better funding Michigan’s public services with changes to the state’s tax policy. Following the release of Michigan’s next annual budget, the group plans to revise the state’s tax system and close tax loopholes so that wealthy individuals and organizations will now “pay what they owe” to support clean water access, job funding, and school support.

Why it Matters: If the new coalition’s plans for altering the state’s tax policy succeeds, organizations and wealthy individuals are expected to have higher tax bills.


  1. Mixed Signals in Michigan Marijuana Sales Data

One the one hand, the Michigan legal marijuana industry is booming. Sales in Michigan hit $1.03 billion in the first half of 2022, up by 26.9% from the same period last year, according to the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (“MMRA”). A Detroit News article reported that Michigan has become the third largest marijuana market in the country. On the other hand, not all news is rosy in the industry. There are now more than 1,000 licensed marijuana retailers in Michigan, and while sales numbers are at all-time highs, the competition in the state is driving down prices. MMRA reported that the average price for flower at $1959 per pound in June, down 41.6% from the same period in 2021.

Why it Matters: With inflation surging across the economy, falling prices in the marijuana industry mean that profits may be hard to come by. This may lead to more consolidation within the industry as operators and investors seek to achieve economies of scale.


  1. Bipartisan Bills Would Allow Alcohol Sales at Some College Sporting Events in Michigan

New bipartisan bills in the Michigan Legislature would allow alcohol sales at college basketball, football and hockey games. House Bill 6289 and Senate Bill 1125 would allow the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to issue licenses to be used for events within the public areas of university football, basketball and hockey stadiums. Sales would be permitted two hours before and after each game.

Why it Matters: Sponsors of the bills point to data showing that allowing alcoholic beverages in venues during sporting events lowers the probability of excessive alcohol consumption that might otherwise happen during tailgating before a game or if alcohol is snuck into a stadium.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Environmental Law | Michael Perry

Business & Tax| Ed Castellani

Taxation | Paul McCord

Cannabis | Klint Kesto

Energy, Utilities & Telecommunication | Michael Ashton

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