Michigan House approves plan to help cottage food industry


An initiative to change Michigan’s Cottage Food Law is gaining traction in the state legislature.

On March 23, the Michigan House approved a plan to help cottage food operations — small, one-person businesses typically operated out of home kitchens — grow and thrive.

“We’re very excited about this,” said Amanda Hamann of Midland, founder and owner of Above Measure Cookies. “None of us expected it to move so fast.”

Hamann approached Rep. Annette Glenn in October about changing a few aspects of the state’s cottage food law. The original bill, backed by Glenn, R-Midland, was to remove the $25,000 annual income cap for craft food businesses, allow online ordering and mail delivery, and let craft food businesses request a unique identification number from the Michigan State University extension to protect the privacy of owners.

“The cottage industries, when they reached out, put a real face to the challenge that people are facing with inflation and the pandemic,” Glenn said.

While House Bill 5704 primarily deals with the language of the Cottage Food Law, and 5671 – sponsored by Rep. Julie Alexander, R-Hanover – focuses on laying out the three changes. Both bills have been submitted to the Michigan Senate for further consideration.

“I spoke with Sen. Kevin Daly and he’s excited to be working on this for the cottage food industry,” Glenn said.

The House-approved proposals would raise the annual sales cap for artisanal catering businesses to $40,000 – up from $25,000 currently – before business licensing requirements take effect. The cap would then increase with inflation. The measures would also allow sales to be delivered over the internet, by courier or by a third party after a customer has had the opportunity to interact directly with the commercial operator before the purchase.

The legislation provides for liability in product labeling and registration without risking unwarranted invasions of privacy. Sellers would have the option to register through Michigan State University’s Product Center, including this information on product labels instead of personal addresses.

“For home bakers, this is a huge step in the right direction to support our families,” Hamann said.


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