Private retailers approved by B.C. to supply liquor to special events

Private retailers approved by B.C. to supply liquor to special events
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The Province of B.C. has announced that private liquor retailers are now allowed to sell their products to holders of special event permits in order to serve liquor.

This means that events such as community festivals, family gatherings and private functions are able to purchase products from locations that are not government liquor stores, which has previously been the rule.

The government says that instead of being confined to only purchasing alcohol products from B.C. Liquor Stores, events can now order from:

  • B.C. wineries, breweries and distilleries with on-site stores;
  • licensee retail stores (private liquor stores);
  • wine stores (excluding sacramental wine stores) and special wine stores; and
  • rural licensee retail stores.

British Columbia says that before the COVID-19 pandemic, B.C.’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch issued approximately 28,000 special event permits annually.

The estimated value of liquor purchased by permit holders averaged $26.5 million between 2016-2019.

While options for events are expanding, the government emphasizes that liquor inspectors will continue to check liquor purchases of special event permittees to ensure they are purchasing only from authorized suppliers.

The changes were made following a recommendation from the Business Technical Advisory Panel, says the Province.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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