February 14, 2017

On January 23, 2017, new liquor policies and Licensee Terms and Conditions took effect. New Liquor Control and Licensing Act and Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation also came into force. ABLE BC has created a new Industry Factsheet to summarize these changes how they may impact your business. Download it here: http://news.mediaedge.ca/assets/January_2017_ABLE_BC_Fact_Sheet.pdf.

We have also received requests from members to clarify some of these policy changes. Please find commonly asked questions and the LCLB’s responses below:  

 Q: New businesses are now eligible to apply for LP licenses. Do these businesses have to follow the same terms and conditions laid out in the LP Terms and Conditions handbook?

 A: Yes. Just like any already existing LP establishments, a new business that receives an LP license must also comply with the LP Terms and Conditions Handbook, as well as any further terms and conditions that might be printed on their license or in letters issued to them by the general manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.

Q: Based on these rules, does this mean an LRS could also apply for an LP license and have a licensed lounge area within their liquor store?

A: No, that would not be possible. Section 58 of the Liquor Control and Licensing regulation states that an LRS needs to be separate from any other business, so an LP could not be located within an LRS. An LP and LRS could be side-by-side, however the two businesses couldn’t have any connecting door or access point. Each would also have to have its own dedicated entrance.

An association is permitted between an LRS and an LP allowing the use of a common name and other visual identifiers and allowing joint advertising and promotions. In addition, an LRS licensee can also own and operate an LP.

Q: Based on the new sampling rules, can an LRS have an enomatic wine machine that dispenses wine samples in their store and sell preloaded cards to charge for these samples?

A: There is no longer a requirement for liquor left over from sampling to be destroyed. Given that a staff member must still dispense the sample, this remains the largest benefit of the enomatic wine machine – that it stores and keeps fresh the wine being sampled.

An LRS can have an enomatic wine machine that stores and dispenses wine samples in their store and sell preloaded cards to charge for these samples. However, self-service of samples is still not permitted, which means a staff member must be present to provide the samples from the machine to customers. The below link contains information about serving samples: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/employment-business-and-economic-development/business-management/liquor-regulation-licensing/policy-directives/16-10_sampling.pdf

Q: Licensees can now apply in writing to request branch approval to serve liquor outside permitted hours. Is this also subject to municipal approval?  

A: Hours after midnight at a Food Primary, or any extensions of hours for a Liquor Primary require local government/First Nations approval. As a reminder, circumstances would have to be of an exceptional nature and satisfy the General Manager that it is not contrary to the public interest or safety.

Q: BC manufacturers no longer require a separate agent license as they are permitted to promote and market their products off-site. What does “promote and market” entail? Does this mean they can sell products off-site?

A: The rules for marketing/promoting haven’t changed. The requirement for a manufacturer to hold an agent license in order for them to market/promote their product away from their manufacturing site has been removed. They can now do so simply under their manufacturer license.

BC manufacturers continue to be prohibited from selling liquor to the public off-site, other than applying for authorizations to sell at farmer/artisan markets. They can continue to promote/market their products through the media or provide samples in person at tastings in licensed establishments (however, they cannot sell these samples).

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