September 13, 2018

A message from ABLE BC’s Executive Director, Jeff Guignard:

Dear ABLE BC members,

I hope you’re doing well and have enjoyed a productive, profitable, and restorative summer. There’s some exciting news coming from ABLE BC this fall and I wanted you to hear it from me first.

Over the summer, ABLE BC’s Board of Directors met to discuss long-term policy priorities and strategic direction for our association. Long story short, we’re expanding our membership base to include BC’s private legal retailers of recreational cannabis. This means that once adult-use non-medical cannabis is legal in Canada on October 17, and BC’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch has issued retail licenses, ABLE BC will accept those new private licensed retailers as members.

This fall, ABLE BC will be launching a new association name, logo, and brand!

This new category of membership will mean a name change for ABLE BC, an expansion of our resources, and a slight refocusing of our efforts.

But at the end of the day, the association will advocate for the interests of three different types of licensees in British Columbia: 1) private liquor retailers, 2) on-premise liquor operators, and 3) private cannabis retailers.

I want to ensure all of our LRS and LP members know that this will in no way lessen our focus on liquor and on supporting BC’s private liquor industry. Given that ABLE BC started in 1975 as the Neighbourhood Pub Association and expanded to include liquor retailers in 1999, I want you all to know that we’ll never forget our roots. However, there are many ways that accepting legal, provincially-licensed retailers of recreational cannabis for membership feels like a natural evolution of our mandate—the same way that expanding to include LRSs made sense 20 years ago.

From an advocacy perspective, there are many obvious parallels between the liquor and cannabis industries. Legislative policy is set by the Attorney General and Solicitor General, regulations and licensing will be handled by the LCRB, and retailers will be purchasing product exclusively from the LDB. These are the same government bodies we work with regularly and have developed deep and productive partnerships with over the years.

Additionally, many of our LRS members have indicated they intend to build on their extensive experience as retailers of controlled substance by applying for cannabis retail licenses. This means our association will be uniquely positioned to build a large coalition of cannabis retailers very quickly and to act as their united voice with government, licensed producers, and other industry stakeholders.

Organizationally, we intend to allocate any revenue generated from these new members to increasing staff resources. This will ensure we continue to deliver the same levels of service you’ve come to expect from our government relations, membership, and communication efforts. We will also be expanding some of our benefit programs in the coming months, as we know many of our associate and supplier members are also positioning their businesses to prepare for legalization.

Please stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can help us choose a new name for our association to replace ABLE BC.

Contest: Help us choose ABLE BC’s new name and you could win $500

ABLE BC is rebranding! This fall we’ll be launching a new association name, logo, and brand. We want your help to choose the association name.

Step One: vote on your favourite name

ABLE BC has engaged a company to design a new name, logo, and brand for the association. We’ve narrowed it down to 4 name options. Vote on your favourite name here.

Step Two: submit your own new name for the association and you could win $500

Do you have another idea for ABLE BC’s new name? Submit your name suggestions here. If we choose your association name, you could win $500!

The new association name could reference:

  • who we represent (i.e. British Columbia’s private liquor and cannabis industries)
  • what we do (i.e. advocacy, policy, education, member benefit programs, resource)
  • what we are (e.g. association or alliance for liquor and cannabis licensees)

Vote on your favourite name and submit your name suggestions here.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact: Jeff Guignard (ABLE BC Executive Director) at 604-688-5560 or


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