October 19, 2018

So cannabis is legal: now what?

Cannabis has been legal in Canada for a little over a day. Although this moment represents a once-in-a-generation shift in public policy, we are still a long way from seeing a fully thriving cannabis retail industry in British Columbia.

There is currently only one legal cannabis retail store operating in BC (a government-run location in Kamloops). However, we know the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch has received nearly 200 applications for private retail locations.

It will be an exciting few months as more of these applications get processed and the private industry expands to retail this new legal substance to British Columbians. Click here for an update from the LCRB on the application process.

What cannabis legalization means for your liquor business

While this new market continues to develop, liquor licensees need to be aware of how cannabis could impact your operations. To learn more, read our recent update outlining what legalization will mean for your liquor business.

We’re also working with go2HR to offer a free webinar on Wednesday, October 24th at 10 am to discuss important changes to Serving it Right. BC’s preeminent liquor liability lawyer and ABLE BC Director-at-Large Lorne Folick will be leading the webinar.

We strongly recommend that all members sign up, as cannabis legalization could mean important changes to a licensee’s risk and duty of care. Register for the free webinar here.

What legalization means for ABLE BC

At a strategic planning session over the summer, ABLE BC’s Board of Directors voted to allow legally licensed retailers of recreational cannabis to be eligible for membership. This means ABLE BC will now represent three different license types – Liquor Primary, Liquor Retail Store, and Cannabis Retail Store. We expect to begin accepting our first cannabis retail members in the coming months.

To learn more about why we’re making this shift, please click here or drop me a line at jeff@ablebc.ca.

I hope you will also attend our October 28th AGM where members will be asked to approve changes to our bylaws to include this new category of membership. More details on the AGM can be found below.

Update on ABLE BC’s new name and brand

As you may recall, I wrote to you recently to let you know about our plans to rename and rebrand our association. Thank you those who took time to participate in our survey and to suggest new ideas.

I was very pleased to see so much enthusiasm for a new name and such strong support for adding legally licensed cannabis retailers to our existing membership.

We’ll be unveiling some draft concepts to members at our October 28th AGM, but I wanted you to know we are not yet ready to launch a new name.

There are still many unanswered questions about how cannabis legalization could impact traveling to the United States, and your Board of Directors wants to proceed cautiously until this issue becomes clearer.

Although this recent statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection helps, the Board feels it is prudent to take the necessary time to gain additional clarity. We also want to make sure we get your feedback on our new name and that we select something that fully respects our historic roots in the liquor industry.

There’s no denying it’s going to be a busy few months. As the leading voice of BC’s private liquor and cannabis industries, ABLE BC will remain at the forefront of these discussions on your behalf.


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