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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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 – November 4, 2022

  1. IRS Announces 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Retirement and Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced 2023 cost-of-living adjustments for retirement and health and welfare benefit plans. The significant adjustments reflect the increase in inflation over the last year. The adjustments are detailed in IRS Notice 2022-55. For example, the contribution limit for a Simple 401(k) will increase to $15,500 in 2023 from $14,000 in 2022, and for a Health FSA, limits will increase to $3,050 in 2023 from $2,850 in 2022.

Why it Matters: Business owners and employers should be aware of these adjustments and share this information with employees as we approach the new year. If you have any questions regarding these adjustments, please contact our Employee Benefits team.


  1. Viridis North, LLC Can Proceed with Lawsuit Against CRA

In November 2021, the CRA (formerly known as the MRA), issued its largest ever marijuana recall because of concerns over safety tests conducted by two companies, Viridis Laboratories, LLC, and Viridis North, LLC. These two companies filed a lawsuit against four individuals who were employed by the CRA in their individual capacities. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney granted an order in part motion to dismiss all claims alleged by Viridis Laboratories, LLC, and Viridis North, LLC, except for, “Plaintiff Viridis North’s claim for violation of its substantive due process rights.” Viridis Labs. v. Kluytman, 1:22-cv-283, 12(W.D. Mich. Oct. 27, 2022).

Why it Matters: The decision by the Court allows Viridis North LLC to proceed with its lawsuit in determining whether or not there was a violation of their substantive due process rights stemming from the November 2021 marijuana recall. Fraser Trebilcock attorneys will monitor the situation as developments continue.


  1. Year End Gift Tax Planning Perspective

If you’re thinking about beginning an annual gifting program, or want to continue a program you’ve already started, there are some things you should know. From an estate and gift tax planning perspective, the most commonly used method for tax-free giving is the annual gift tax exclusion. This method allows you to give up to $16,000 for 2022 (increasing to $17,000 in 2023) to each donee.

Why it Matters: The method allows you to give up $16,000 without reducing your estate and lifetime gift tax exclusion amount. It’s also important to note that there is no limit to the number of people to whom you may make such gifts, and that the annual gift tax exclusion is applied on a per-donee basis.


  1. Department of Labor Issues New Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if adopted, would change the standard for analyzing a worker’s classification as either an employee or independent contractor.

Why it Matters: Employers who misclassify employees can face severe financial consequences. That’s why it is important that organizations remain diligent in analyzing their workers’ classifications. Learn more on the subject.


  1. EV Company Relocating to MI Recipient of Funds from MSF

A Utah-based electric vehicle company that is set to relocate their headquarters to southeastern Michigan, received a $2.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to aid in the move.

Why it Matters: Officials in Michigan have been working hard to grow Michigan’s economy, and these programs are an incentive for businesses that are looking to relocate or expand their footprint in the state.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Employee Benefits | Robert Burgee
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Trusts & Estates | Elizabeth Siefker
Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | David Houston
Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications | Michael Ashton