GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A bill working its way through the state Legislature would reduce how much small distilleries would have to pay to the state, if they make their spirits from Michigan grown grain.

Currently, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission adds a mark-up of 65% to distilleries. Under the bill, a qualified small distiller would receive a mark-up of 32.5%.

A small distillery in the state of Michigan or outside the state would need to produce spirits with at least 40% of the base distillate from grain that is grown and harvested in Michigan to qualify. Small distilleries would need to apply for a certificate which would expire on July 1, the proposed bill says.

A small distiller, according to MLCC, is a distillery that produces no more than 60,000 gallons of spirits with no more than 3,000 gallons of spirits being sold to retailers per calendar year. According to the bill analysis, there were 169 small distillers licensed by MLCC as of March 2022.

If the bill passes, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development would hire an auditor with a salary and other expenses totaling $150,000. The funds would be covered by the certification fee.