With last week’s big news, we did not have the time to fully address several other important announcements from MLCC.
With Regard to Active Licenses
As always, MLCC has reminded licensees to renew their license(s) prior to May 1st. Furthermore, MLCC recommends mailing your renewal by March 15th to ensure that it is processed by March 30th.
The MLBA has noted that licensees should no longer expect the “unofficial and unspoken ‘grace period'” that has been seen in the past. Given MLCC’s current approach to dealing with the law “as written,” it would be prudent to renew your license(s) as soon as possible. As a reminder, the potential consequences of a failure to renew on time include cancellation of the license, the inability to purchase spirits, and/or the inability to serve or sell alcohol.
With Regard to Escrowed Licenses
In the past, escrowed licenses have also been the subject of lenient unspoken policies on the part of MLCC. This year, MLCC has announced that it will be sticking to the letter of the law with regard to these licenses, and that failure to comply with the relevant portions of Rule 436.1107 will result in immediate cancellation of all rights in an escrowed license. Per Rule 436.1107, MLCC must receive renewal information and license fees for an escrowed license in the same manner as an active license.* Furthermore, it is worth noting that MLCC appears poised to strictly limit escrow periods to five years, barring a showing of “good cause.”* At this time, it is not known what the current Commission will deem sufficient to satisfy the “good cause” requirement.
*Note that a different rule applies to an escrowed license that is the subject of litigation/bankruptcy proceedings or a license that was placed in escrow after damage to the licensed premises rendered the premises unsuitable for operation of the business and unsafe for occupation