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 “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.


  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.


  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.


  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. 


  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

Term Limits and Financial Disclosure Requirements will be on the November Ballot in Michigan

In 1992, Michigan voters voted in favor of a constitutional amendment for term limits. Since then, Michigan House members have been limited to three two-year terms and Michigan Senate members to two four-year terms— a maximum of 14 years between the two chambers.

Those limits may change in light of a vote by the Michigan legislature on May 10 to put the issue of term limits on this year’s November ballot. The plan would permit lawmakers to serve 12 years in Lansing, and all of that time could be spent in the House or Senate, or it could be divided between the two chambers.

Voters will also be asked to approve or reject a requirement that state-level office holders submit annual financial disclosures to address conflicts of interest. If approved by voters, elected officials would have to disclose their assets, income and liabilities, and their involvement in any businesses, nonprofits, labor organizations or educational institutions.

No discussion or debate of the plan took place in either the House or the Senate.

According to reports, the Michigan Legislature worked with the advocacy group Voters for Transparency and Term Limits to bring these issues before Michigan voters in November. The resolution passed 76-28 in the House, and by a 26-6 vote in the Senate.

We will continue to keep you informed about these developments, as well as other issues in the lead up to the November elections.

Fraser Trebilcock attorney and former Michigan State Legislator Klint Kesto has nearly two decades of experience working in both the public and private sectors, including serving as Co-Chair of the CARES Task Force. You can reach him at or 517.377.0868.