Some grocery stores will be able to stock wine on their shelves next year, but only if it's 100 per cent B.C. product, under new rules announced this morning.
The announcement is the second-phase of the government's move to allow liquor sales in grocery stores which are larger than 10,000 sq. ft and sell a minimum of 75 per cent food products and services.
Earlier this year the province announced that existing liquor store licence holders would be able to relocate and set up stores inside eligible grocery stores, but only if they were not within one kilometre of an existing liquor store.
The new rules announced Friday will allow existing VQA and independent wine stores to transfer their licences to an eligible grocery store, without the one-kilometre restriction.
The stores will then be able to stock B.C. wines on their shelves starting April 1, without setting up a separate liquor store inside the grocery store.
"A limited number of new licences will also be made available specifically for the 100% B.C. wine-on-shelves model. Details on these licences will be available in the new year," said a statement released by the government.
Justice Minister Suzanne Anton said they won't be able to sell B.C. beer because it is not a 100 per cent B.C. product yet.
“This model focuses on common sense changes that will give the people of British Columbia the convenience of being able to grab a bottle of wine off the shelf with their groceries while at the same time supporting the burgeoning B.C. wine industry," said Anton.
Sales transactions will need to be done at designated registers by staff with Serving It Right certificates, who are 19 years of age or older.
The hours of liquor sales for grocery stores will be limited to same as other liquor retailers: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m PT.