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Five Stories that Matter in Michigan This Week – July 22, 2022

  1. COVID, Force Majeure, and Frustration of Purpose

Courts have rejected COVID-related force majeure and frustration of purpose arguments on the reasoning that the pandemic and its effects were foreseeable. Now in its third year, disruptions related to the pandemic are no longer unforeseeable and businesses should take note.

Why it Matters: COVID-related frustration of purpose and force majeure are not cure-alls, and courts will not take these arguments at face value. However, with the right facts, frustration of purpose or force majeure arguments can be successful. Businesses should take positive steps to ensure that their interests are protected if/when COVID comes knocking again.


  1. Proposed Short-Term Rental Legislation Remains Stuck in Michigan House

Local communities will be limited in their ability to regulate short-term housing rentals if a bill passed by the Michigan House of Representatives, House Bill 4722 (“HB 4722”), becomes law. However, the bill remains on hold in the Michigan House, as powerful interest groups—local governments and Michigan realtors, in particular—remain at odds over the bill.

Why it Matters: The bill restricts local communities from adopting or enforcing zoning ordinance provisions that have the effect of prohibiting short-term rentals. On the one hand, local governments argue that the bill would undermine local control over zoning. On the other hand, realtors argue that the bill would dampen the real estate market. A lot is at stake, as Michigan homeownersreportedly made more than $250 million from Airbnb rentals alone in 2021.


  1. Decreased Costs Trending for Medical Marijuana Licenses

Last month the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) announced that medical marijuana facilities that need to renew their license or obtain a new license will pay less in fees for the upcoming fiscal year. Fees for each class and type of business have been reduced, a trend that started last year when the CRA reduced fees for this current fiscal year.

Why it Matters: As the number of medical licensees in the state continue to grow, associated costs of getting a new license or renewing are decreasing. If you have any questions or seeking to acquire a medical marijuana license, contact our cannabis attorneys.


  1. New Law Allows Non-Profit Corporation to be a Member of Limited Liability Company

Senate Bill 926 was recently signed into law by Governor Whitmer, which changes the definition of a person in the limited liability company act, allowing nonprofit corporations to be members of limited liability companies (“LLC”).

Why it Matters:  Michigan now joins other states that allow nonprofits to create LLCs that do not involve any financial gain or profit to perform certain functions while still maintaining their nonprofit status.


  1. Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Laws Up in Air

Following the ruling by the Michigan Court of Claims recently, the “adopt and amend” strategy taken on by Michigan’s legislature in 2018 to find a compromise for two ballot initiatives which would have increased the minimum wage and enacted a paid sick leave law, was deemed unconstitutional.

Why it Matters: It is anticipated that the Michigan legislature will appeal the decision and request a stay. If the decision is not reversed, then changes will go into effect immediately. The state’s minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour, tipped employees will receive an increase, and nearly every size and type of business will receive 72 hours per year of paid sick time leave.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Litigation | Matthew Meyerhuber

Real Estate | Jared Roberts

Cannabis | Klint Kesto

Business & Tax | Ed Castellani

Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | Aaron Davis

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