Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – September 15, 2023

  1. Michigan House Bill Would Provide Tax Credit for High School or College Graduates Who Move to Michigan

Michigan House Bill 4934, which is pending in the House, would provide tax incentives for high school and college graduates outside of Michigan to move to the state. The bill would allow them to claim a tax credit the taxpayer paid on a qualified student loan during the tax year on student loans paid starting Jan. 1, 2024. 

Why it Matters: The bill would address two challenges: (1) the heavy burden of student loan debt for many young people, and (2) the “talent gap” faced by Michigan employers.

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  1. Attorney Michael H. Perry Honored as “Lawyer of the Year” in Environmental Law in Lansing

Fraser Trebilcock attorney Michael H. Perry has been named the Best Lawyers in America© 2024 Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Lansing. This is a high distinction, as only one attorney in each practice area in each community is identified as “Lawyer of the Year.”

Why it Matters: “I am honored to be recognized by Best Lawyers© as a 2024 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for Environmental Law in Lansing,” said Mike Perry. Because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers© is considered a singular honor. Only five percent of attorneys in Michigan are awarded the honor. Read more about Mike.

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  1. Detroit Mayor Discusses New Land Value Tax Plan With Lawmakers

This week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan spoke to lawmakers at the House Tax Policy Committee hearing on his land value tax plan, which would change property taxes while encouraging economic growth across Detroit.

Why it Matters: According to the plan laid out online, if enacted, would replace certain tax rates for homes and property structures with a higher rate of tax on land, with the purpose of targeting unused, unproductive, or vacant land while providing benefits to homeowners and businesses.

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  1. Michigan Cannabis Sales Exceed $276 Million in August

Cannabis sales surpassed $276 million in August, via the monthly report from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency. Michigan adult-use sales came in at $270,628,119.44, while medical sales came in at $5,643,278.24, totaling $276,271,397.68. 

Why it Matters: Marijuana sales remain strong in Michigan, particularly for recreational use. However, there still are significant concerns about profitability and market oversaturation that the industry is contending with.

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  1. Business Education Series – Practical A.I. Business Solutions

Explore the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence in the business landscape during our Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Education Series. 

Why it Matters: From understanding the capabilities of AI models like ChatGPT to creating customized workflows using API integrations and automation tools, discover how AI can drive innovation and efficiency across industries. Learn more.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Higher Education | Ryan Kauffman
Environmental Law | Mike Perry
Real Estate | Jared Roberts
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher 

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – September 8, 2023

  1. DOL Proposed Rulemaking Would Make More White-Collar Workers Eligible for Overtime Pay

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a notice of proposed rulemaking which would raise the Fair Labor Standards Act’s salary-level threshold from $35,568 to $55,068 for white-collar exemptions to overtime requirements.

Why it Matters: If the proposed rule becomes a final rule, millions more U.S. salaried workers would eligible for overtime pay.

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  1. Attorney Michael S. Ashton Honored as “Lawyer of the Year” in Utility Law in Lansing

Fraser Trebilcock attorney Michael S. Ashton has been named the Best Lawyers in America© 2024 Utility Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Lansing. This is a high distinction, as only one attorney in each practice area in each community is identified as “Lawyer of the Year.”

Why it Matters: “I am honored to be recognized by Best Lawyers© as a 2024 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for Utility Law in Lansing,” said Mike Ashton. Because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers© is considered a singular honor. Only five percent of attorneys in Michigan are awarded the honor. Read more about Mike.

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  1. Keep Your Michigan Cottage in the Family

The family cottage is a place for fun and relaxation in Michigan. For many, the family cottage becomes the meeting place for generations and where lifelong memories are made. As a result, it’s often the intent of the owner to pass the cottage on to future generations to enjoy. Unfortunately, challenges such as high property taxes and family disputes can prevent that from happening. These obstacles can be overcome through careful cottage succession planning.

Why it Matters: If you own a cottage in Michigan, our Cottage Law team can help you think through the issues and take the actions necessary to create a cottage plan. A cottage plan usually addresses the concerns through the creative use of a limited liability company (LLC) or a trust to own the property. Learn more from your cottage law attorney.

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  1. Gain Peace of Mind Through Life’s Toughest Challenges

Family law involves deeply personal and often emotional issues – that can be as complicated as they are sensitive. A strong family law attorney understands the judicial processes and procedures, while also handling your case with care and compassion.

Why it Matters: Fraser Trebilcock attorney Paula C. Spicer has over a decade of experience assisting clients in family law matters. Paula compassionately and efficiently works with clients to help them understand their options and navigate the often challenging and emotional situations. Learn more how she may be able to assist.

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  1. Business Education Series – Practical A.I. Business Solutions

Explore the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence in the business landscape during our Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Education Series.

Why it Matters: From understanding the capabilities of AI models like ChatGPT to creating customized workflows using API integrations and automation tools, discover how AI can drive innovation and efficiency across industries. Learn more.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | David Houston
Utility Law | Michael Ashton
Cottage Law | Mark Kellogg
Family Law | Paula Spicer

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – September 1, 2023

  1. Will Michigan High School Athletes Gain NIL Rights?

Michigan House Bill 4816, sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr. (D-Ypsilanti), would allow high school athletes in Michigan to profit from name, image and likeness (NIL) deals if passed.

Why it Matters: 19 states have laws that allow high school athletes to profit off of use of their NIL. The market for NIL deals is growing—various projections estimate that NIL revenue earned by athletes will top $1 billion this year.

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  1. Fraser Trebilcock Lawyers Selected Among ‘The Best Lawyers in America©’ 2024 Edition in Lansing

Fraser Trebilcock is proud to announce that 10 attorneys from the firm have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024 edition in Lansing. Only five percent of attorneys in Michigan are awarded with the honor.

Why it Matters: Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 87,000 leading attorneys cast nearly ten million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas; because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Learn which Fraser attorneys were selected.

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  1. Hosting an Event that Involves Cannabis in Michigan Requires Proper Licensing

As the legal cannabis industry continues to grow in Michigan, more events involving the consumption of cannabis are being hosted across the state. As the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) discussed in a recent information release, such events require proper licensing. Specifically, according to the CRA, “CRA rules require a person who allows consumption of marijuana products on the premises of a non-residential location – and charges a fee for entry, sells goods or services while individuals are consuming on the premises, or requires membership for entry – must acquire either a designated consumption establishment license or a temporary marijuana event license. An application for a temporary marijuana event license must be submitted 90 days prior to the date of the event.”

Why it Matters: Violations of requirements may result in disciplinary action.

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  1. Housing Inequality May be on the Michigan Legislature’s Agenda this Fall

Recent news reports suggest that one of the Michigan’s legislature’s priorities for this fall will be to pass a slate of bills meant to address housing inequality. This may include a 15-20 omnibus bill package addressing issues such as (according to Mlive.com) “efforts to clarify the organizing rights of tenants, requiring landlords pay for the relocation of tenants with red-tagged buildings and establishing a standard criteria for what a housing inspector may consider a safe and livable dwelling.”

Why it Matters: With high mortgage rates and low for-sale housing inventory, affordable housing is a hot-button issue for many Michiganders. Data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach report ranked Michigan 28th worst in the nation for rental affordability.

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  1. Business Education Series – Practical A.I. Business Solutions

Explore the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence in the business landscape during our Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Education Series.

Why it Matters: From understanding the capabilities of AI models like ChatGPT to creating customized workflows using API integrations and automation tools, discover how AI can drive innovation and efficiency across industries. Learn more.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Higher Education | Ryan Kauffman
Real Estate | Jared Roberts
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – August 25, 2023

  1. Housing Inequality May be on the Michigan Legislature’s Agenda this Fall

Recent news reports suggest that one of the Michigan’s legislature’s priorities for this fall will be to pass a slate of bills meant to address housing inequality. This may include a 15-20 omnibus bill package addressing issues such as (according to Mlive.com) “efforts to clarify the organizing rights of tenants, requiring landlords pay for the relocation of tenants with red-tagged buildings and establishing a standard criteria for what a housing inspector may consider a safe and livable dwelling.”

Why it Matters: With high mortgage rates and low for-sale housing inventory, affordable housing is a hot-button issue for many Michiganders. Data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach report ranked Michigan 28th worst in the nation for rental affordability.

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  1. Business Education Series – Practical A.I. Business Solutions

Explore the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence in the business landscape during our Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Education Series. 

Why it Matters: From understanding the capabilities of AI models like ChatGPT to creating customized workflows using API integrations and automation tools, discover how AI can drive innovation and efficiency across industries. Learn more.

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  1. Michigan Supreme Court Clarifies the Difference Between “Requirements” and “Release-by-Release” Contracts Under the Uniform Commercial Code

In an important decision that impacts customers and suppliers in the manufacturing industry, the Michigan Supreme Court, in MSSC, Inc. v. AirBoss Flexible Prods. Co., clarified the contractual circumstances under which a supplier can become bound to a long-term “requirements contract” under the Uniform Commercial Code.

Why it Matters: In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, buyers and sellers of goods should review their contracts with legal counsel to evaluate whether they meet the standards for a requirements contract. Read more on the topic from your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

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  1. CRA Publishes July 2023 Data; Average Price Increases

Per data released by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, the average retail price for adult-use sales of an ounce of cannabis is $98.65, an increase from $89.27 in June. This is still a large decrease from July 2022, where the average price was $121.58.  

Why it Matters: While the prices of cannabis and cannabis-related products continue to decrease and make consumers happy, growers on the other hand are seeing profits decrease resulting in them seeking ways to halt new licenses to be granted in an effort to steady prices. Contact our cannabis law attorneys if you have any questions. 

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  1. Michigan Supreme Court Rules on Open and Obvious Doctrine

In its decision in a pair of consolidated cases (Kandil-Elsayed v F & E Oil, Inc and Pinsky v Kroger Co of Mich), the state’s high court did away with a legal doctrine known as “open and obvious.” Generally speaking, under this doctrine, a premises possessor (whether that is the landowner, land contract vendee, lessee, or other party with the right to possess the property) does not have a duty to warn individuals of potentially dangerous conditions on the premises if the condition is “open and obvious.”

Why it Matters: What happens next is anybody’s guess, but likely effects of this decision include an increase in the number of personal injury lawsuits filed, an increase in the number of personal injury cases going to trial, and across the board increases in property insurance rates for commercial and residential property owners.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Real Estate | Jared Roberts
Business & Tax | Robert Burgee
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher

Michigan Supreme Court Clarifies the Difference Between “Requirements” and “Release-by-Release” Contracts Under the Uniform Commercial Code

In an important decision that impacts customers and suppliers in the manufacturing industry, the Michigan Supreme Court, in MSSC, Inc. v. AirBoss Flexible Prods. Co., clarified the contractual circumstances under which a supplier can become bound to a long-term “requirements contract” under the Uniform Commercial Code. As discussed below, unless a contract identifies a quantity, it will be treated as a release-by-release contract.

The Underlying Dispute

In this case, MSSC, Inc., a “Tier 1” automotive buyer, sought to enforce a purchase order for goods manufactured by “Tier 2” automotive supplier Airboss. Many years before the suit, the parties agreed to a specific set of terms and conditions that would govern the transactions between the parties and the individual purchase orders, or releases, pursuant to that agreement. The parties identified their purchase order as a “blanket” order that listed the parts to be supplied but did not include specific quantities of the parts to be supplied by Airboss. Instead, the quantity to be supplied by Airboss would be based upon the needs of MSSC for their customers’ orders. However, no one purchase order nor the any of the terms and conditions required MSSC to send any specific number of firm orders to Airboss. As time passed, the fixed price agreed to by the parties began to result in substantial losses to Airboss and Airboss eventually threatened to cease production under the agreement unless MSSC agreed to a price increase.

At the trial court, Airboss moved for summary disposition, arguing that the purchase order failed to satisfy MCL 440.2201(1), the statute of frauds of the Uniform Commercial Code, because it did not include a quantity term. In response, MSSC, Inc. moved for summary disposition, arguing that the blanket purchase order was a requirements contract that satisfied the statute of frauds.

The trial court ruled in favor of MSSC, Inc., reasoning that because the purchase order contained the word “blanket” on the first page, it therefore included a “quantity term” that satisfied the statute of frauds. Airboss appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court’s ruling.

The Michigan Supreme Court’s Analysis

At the core of this case is the treatment of “requirements contracts,” under the UCC, which are those whose quantities are determined “by the output of the seller or the requirements of the buyer ….”  MCL 440.2306(1). Prior to this case, those were the choices you either had a contract for the “requirements of the buyer” (oversimplified as one for “all of the wood the buyer needs”) or a contract for the “output of the seller” (oversimplified as “all of the wood I can cut”). As the Michigan Supreme Court went on to explain, however, some of these oversimplifications led to unspecific or unidentifiable quantity, which violates the statute of frauds (i.e., a legal principal that dictates the essential items that must be included in order to create a binding contract). The Court went on to conclude that where a contract fails to specify a quantity or a quantity-determining term, it would be found to have created a newly recognized type of contract called a “release by release contract.” Under such an agreement, “the purchase order and incorporated terms and conditions created a blanket—or umbrella—agreement, while the releases created individual purchasing contracts governed by the umbrella terms.” MSSC, Inc. v. Airboss Flexible Prod. Co., No. 163523, 2023 WL 4476721, at *10 (Mich. July 11, 2023). As such, the umbrella agreement included the pricing, shipping, and other terms and conditions of the agreement between the parties, but it was each individual order (or each “release”) that created a binding contract. There is no long-term commitment required by either party in a release-by-release contract.

The Supreme Court ruled that the lower courts erred by relying on parole evidence – that is information not contained within a written contract – to determine whether the parties intended the term “blanket” to identify a contractual quantity and to clarify what quantity was intended. Instead, the contract must contain language that identifies a quantity in order for it to be enforceable as a requirements contract. Accordingly, Airboss was within its rights to reject releases from MSSC because no quantity term was specified in the underlying contract.

Practical Implications

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, buyers and sellers of goods should review their contracts with legal counsel to evaluate whether they meet the standards for a requirements contract. If you have questions, or require assistance, please contact Bob Burgee.


Robert D. Burgee is an attorney at Fraser Trebilcock with over a decade of experience counseling clients with a focus on corporate structures and compliance, licensing, contracts, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and a host of other matters related to the operation of small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits. You can reach him at 517.377.0848 or at bburgee@fraserlawfirm.com.

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – August 18, 2023

  1. Hosting an Event that Involves Cannabis in Michigan Requires Proper Licensing

As the legal cannabis industry continues to grow in Michigan, more events involving the consumption of cannabis are being hosted across the state. As the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) discussed in a recent information release, such events require proper licensing. Specifically, according to the CRA, “CRA rules require a person who allows consumption of marijuana products on the premises of a non-residential location – and charges a fee for entry, sells goods or services while individuals are consuming on the premises, or requires membership for entry – must acquire either a designated consumption establishment license or a temporary marijuana event license. An application for a temporary marijuana event license must be submitted 90 days prior to the date of the event.”

Why it Matters: Violations of requirements may result in disciplinary action. If you have any questions, please contact your cannabis law attorneys at Fraser Trebilcock.

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  1. Fraser Trebilcock Attorney Thaddeus Morgan Obtains Summary Judgment for Firm Client; Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, which granted summary judgment for the firm’s client, who was represented by Fraser Trebilcock attorney Thaddeus Morgan.

Why it Matters: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit did not find either of the district court’s decisions erroneous, affirming the denial of the Plaintiff’s motion to amend and granting summary judgment to the defendants. Read more on the case.

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  1. Michigan Cannabis Sales Exceed $276 Million in July

Cannabis sales surpassed $276 million in July, via the monthly report from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency. Michigan adult-use sales came in at $270,603,217.84, while medical sales came in at $6,143,046.23, totaling $276,746,264.07.

Why it Matters: Marijuana sales remain strong in Michigan, particularly for recreational use. However, there still are significant concerns about profitability and market oversaturation that the industry is contending with.

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  1. Business Education Series – Setting Meaningful Goals and Time Blocking for Success

On August 22, 2023, gain valuable knowledge and skills to set meaningful goals, establish priorities, and effectively manage their time through the practice of time blocking.

Why it Matters: Participants will learn practical strategies and techniques to enhance their goal-setting abilities, develop a clear sense of direction, and optimize their productivity. Learn more.

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  1. Michigan Supreme Court Clarifies the Difference Between “Requirements” and “Release-by-Release” Contracts Under the Uniform Commercial Code

In an important decision that impacts customers and suppliers in the manufacturing industry, the Michigan Supreme Court, in MSSC, Inc. v. AirBoss Flexible Prods. Co., clarified the contractual circumstances under which a supplier can become bound to a long-term “requirements contract” under the Uniform Commercial Code.

Why it Matters: In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, buyers and sellers of goods should review their contracts with legal counsel to evaluate whether they meet the standards for a requirements contract.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Litigation | Thaddeus Morgan
Business & Tax | Ed Castellani

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – August 11, 2023

  1. CRA Issues Bulletin, Recalling Vape Cartridges Due to Possible Presence of Banned Chemical

On July 21, 2023, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (“CRA”), issued a public health safety bulletin, recalling more than 13,000 vape cartridges “due to the possible presence of banned chemical residue exceeding the established action limits.”

Why it Matters: Sky Labs, LLC, is the licensed marijuana processor who manufactured the three batches of vape cartridges that were recalled. Businesses operating in the cannabis market are required to adhere to strict rules and regulations laid out by the CRA. Failure to do so can result in steep fines, recalled product, and potential loss of license(s).

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  1. Business Education Series – Setting Meaningful Goals and Time Blocking for Success

On August 22, 2023, gain valuable knowledge and skills to set meaningful goals, establish priorities, and effectively manage their time through the practice of time blocking.

Why it Matters: Participants will learn practical strategies and techniques to enhance their goal-setting abilities, develop a clear sense of direction, and optimize their productivity. Learn more.

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  1. Michigan Supreme Court Alters Premises Liability Framework

Michigan courts have long held that premises owners generally have no duty to protect invitees from “open and obvious” hazards. In a recent decision (Kandil-Elsayed v F&E Oil, Inc and Pinsky v Kroger Co of Michigan), the Michigan Supreme Court held that whether a hazard is open and obvious is not an integral part of duty but is instead “relevant to breach and the parties’ comparative fault.” The Court overruled the special-aspects exception, holding that “when a land possessor should anticipate the harm that results from an open and obvious condition, despite its obviousness, the possessor is not relieved of the duty of reasonable care.”

Why it Matters: This decision significantly changes the legal standards in premises liability cases, particularly slip-and-fall cases.

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  1. Fraser Trebilcock Attorney Thaddeus Morgan Obtains Summary Judgment for Firm Client; Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, which granted summary judgment for the firm’s client, who was represented by Fraser Trebilcock attorney Thaddeus Morgan.

Why it Matters: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit did not find either of the district court’s decisions erroneous, affirming the denial of the Plaintiff’s motion to amend and granting summary judgment to the defendants.

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  1. Michigan Supreme Court Rules that New No-Fault Law Does Not Apply Retroactively

On July 31, 2023, the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed, in part, a court of appeals decision ruling that medical cost controls in Michigan’s new no-fault auto insurance law do not apply retroactively to car crash victims whose accidents occurred prior to the change in the law.

Why it Matters: As a result of the ruling, drivers who were catastrophically injured in accidents prior to the no-fault must be paid at full rates and not be subject to new cost controls for medical services.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Business & Tax | Ed Castellani
Insurance Law | Gary Rogers
Litigation | Thaddeus Morgan

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – August 4, 2023

  1. Michigan Supreme Court Rules that New No-Fault Law Does Not Apply Retroactively

On July 31, 2023, the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed, in part, a court of appeals decision ruling that medical cost controls in Michigan’s new no-fault auto insurance law do not apply retroactively to car crash victims whose accidents occurred prior to the change in the law.

Why it Matters: As a result of the ruling, drivers who were catastrophically injured in accidents prior to the no-fault must be paid at full rates and not be subject to new cost controls for medical services.

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  1. Marijuana Business Can’t Sue State Authority Due to Federal Illegality of Marijuana

On July 31, 2023, US District Court Judge Paul Maloney dismissed a lawsuit filed by Viridis Laboratories against four employees working for the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency stemming from a 2021 recall the agency issued against Viridis, pulling nearly $230 million worth of marijuana from retail shelves.

Why it Matters: In Viridis’s lawsuit, it claims that the recall violated its right to due process under the U.S. Constitution when it was unable to challenge the allegations in court. However, federal law prohibits marijuana and characterizes it as illegal contraband, leading to Judge Maloney dismissing the lawsuit on grounds that constitutional protections do not apply to illegal entities. Learn more.

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  1. Second Quarter Surpasses First Quarter for Michigan Marijuana Sales in 2023

Per data from the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, the second quarter total sales of both medical and adult-use marijuana sales totaled $752,771,513.25, surpassing the first quarter total sales of $673,367,341.50.

Why it Matters: While the prices of cannabis and cannabis-related products continue to decrease and make consumers happy, growers on the other hand are seeing profits decrease resulting in them seeking ways to halt new licenses to be granted in an effort to steady prices. Contact our cannabis law attorneys if you have any questions.

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  1. Keep Your Michigan Cottage in the Family

The family cottage is a place for fun and relaxation in Michigan. For many, the family cottage becomes the meeting place for generations and where lifelong memories are made. As a result, it’s often the intent of the owner to pass the cottage on to future generations to enjoy. Unfortunately, challenges such as high property taxes and family disputes can prevent that from happening. These obstacles can be overcome through careful cottage succession planning.

Why it Matters: If you own a cottage in Michigan, our Cottage Law team can help you think through the issues and take the actions necessary to create a cottage plan. A cottage plan usually addresses the concerns through the creative use of a limited liability company (LLC) or a trust to own the property. Learn more from your cottage law attorney.

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  1. Business Education Series – Setting Meaningful Goals and Time Blocking for Success

On August 22, 2023, gain valuable knowledge and skills to set meaningful goals, establish priorities, and effectively manage their time through the practice of time blocking.

Why it Matters: Participants will learn practical strategies and techniques to enhance their goal-setting abilities, develop a clear sense of direction, and optimize their productivity. Learn more.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Insurance Law | Gary Rogers
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Cottage Law | Mark Kellogg
Business & Tax | Ed Castellani

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – July 28, 2023

  1. Detroit City Council Approves Amendment that Gives Cannabis Businesses More Options on Where to Locate

The zoning amendment shrinks the distance various cannabis businesses must be located from “controlled uses” (such as liquor stores) from 1,000 feet to 750 feet. It also allows cannabis businesses to be located 500 feet from each other—previously they were required to be 1,000 feet apart. It’s still uncertain when the amendment will take effect.

Why it Matters: The amendment passed in advance of Detroit accepting a new round of applications for cannabis dispensaries, micro businesses, and consumption lounges.

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  1. Business Education Series – Setting Meaningful Goals and Time Blocking for Success

On August 22, 2023, gain valuable knowledge and skills to set meaningful goals, establish priorities, and effectively manage their time through the practice of time blocking.

Why it Matters: Participants will learn practical strategies and techniques to enhance their goal-setting abilities, develop a clear sense of direction, and optimize their productivity. Learn more.

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  1. CRA Publishes June 2023 Data, Average Price Decreases Slightly

Per data from the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, the average retail price for adult-use sale of an ounce of cannabis is $89.27, a small decrease from $90.64 in May. This is still a large decrease from the average price in June 2022, when it was $122.43.

Why it Matters: While the prices of cannabis and cannabis-related products continue to decrease and make consumers happy, growers on the other hand are seeing profits decrease resulting in them seeking ways to halt new licenses to be granted in an effort to steady prices. Contact our cannabis law attorneys if you have any questions.

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  1. Avoiding a Strike, UPS and Teamsters Settle Labor Negotiations

Earlier this week, UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters) reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement, avoiding a possible strike when the current contract would have expired August 1, 2023.

Why it Matters: It was estimated that the potential UPS strike could have cost the US economy  more than $7 billion, with $4 billion in losses for consumers and small businesses.

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  1. Client Alert: PCORI Fees Due by July 31, 2023!

In Notice 2022-59 the Internal Revenue Service set forth the PCORI amount imposed on insured and self-funded health plans for policy and plan years that end on or after October 1, 2022, and before October 1, 2023.

Why it Matters: Notice 2022-59 sets the adjusted applicable dollar amount used to calculate the fee at $3.00. Specifically, this fee is imposed per average number of covered lives for plan years that end on or after October 1, 2022, and before October 1, 2023. For self-funded plans, the average number of covered lives is calculated by one of three methods: (1) the actual count method; (2) the snapshot method; or (3) the Form 5500 method. Learn more from your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | Dave Houston
Employee Benefits | Bob Burgee
Employee Benefits | Sharon Goldzweig

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – July 21, 2023

  1. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Took Effect June 27, 2023

A new federal employment law, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), took effect on June 27, 2023. Pursuant to the PWFA, employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide “reasonable accommodations” to nursing and pregnant employees unless it would cause “undue hardship.”

Why it Matters: Failure to abide by the PWFA can expose employers to liability, including back pay, reinstatement, and reasonable attorney’s fees for an affected employee.

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  1. Cannabis to be Removed from State of Michigan Pre-employment Drug Tests Starting This Fall

Beginning October 1, 2023, cannabis will be removed from pre-employment drug tests for most state jobs following a recent vote from the Michigan Civil Service Commission.

Why it Matters: Jobs that require a commercial driver’s license, operate heavy machinery, law enforcement, and healthcare workers are among the sectors not included in this change and still prohibit cannabis use. Learn more.

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  1. CRA Publishes June 2023 Data, Average Price Decreases Slightly

Per data from the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, the average retail price for adult-use sale of an ounce of cannabis is $89.27, a small decrease from $90.64 in May. This is still a large decrease from the average price in June 2022, when it was $122.43.

Why it Matters: While the prices of cannabis and cannabis-related products continue to decrease and make consumers happy, growers on the other hand are seeing profits decrease resulting in them seeking ways to halt new licenses to be granted in an effort to steady prices. Contact our cannabis law attorneys if you have any questions.

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  1. Client Alert: PCORI Fees Due by July 31, 2023!

In Notice 2022-59 the Internal Revenue Service set forth the PCORI amount imposed on insured and self-funded health plans for policy and plan years that end on or after October 1, 2022, and before October 1, 2023.

Why it Matters: Notice 2022-59 sets the adjusted applicable dollar amount used to calculate the fee at $3.00. Specifically, this fee is imposed per average number of covered lives for plan years that end on or after October 1, 2022, and before October 1, 2023. For self-funded plans, the average number of covered lives is calculated by one of three methods: (1) the actual count method; (2) the snapshot method; or (3) the Form 5500 method. Learn more from your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

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  1. Supreme Court Strikes Down Affirmative Action in Higher Education

On June 29, 2023, in a 6–3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Harvard’s, and the University of North Carolina’s admissions programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act.

Why it Matters: The Supreme Court held that both universities’ admissions programs violated equal protection. While the Court had permitted race-based college admissions as an exception to the Equal Protection Clause in the past, it did so on the basis that such programs satisfy the “strict scrutiny” standard, could not utilize race as a stereotype, and had to be finite. Learn more from your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

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