The Nova Scotia government says it will introduce a law this spring legalizing beer brewing and winemaking at smaller retailers.
Diana Whalen, the Minister of Finance, said the government will work with the beer brewing and winemaking industry to develop regulations and standards that are expected to be introduced in the next legislative session. She's looking to model Nova Scotia's rules on existing ones on Prince Edward Island.
Consultations to develop those regulations started this week. The deadline for input is Feb. 10.
Ross Harrington, the owner and operator of Wine Kitz in Halifax, said he doesn't have a problem with using Prince Edward Island's rules as long as it doesn't include that province's levy — 75 cents a litre.
"My business is up 30 per cent over last year. That will plateau at some point because I only have so much space and so many units. But I've gone from being a 1.5-man operation to myself and six employees," he said.
"It's got to be good for everyone and I'm sure the government sees it. I don't think there's a need to have a fee attached to my business."
Harrington said by creating jobs he's helping to boost the province's economy.
Whalen said she'll offer a final decision in February once she's completed the consultation with businessowners and members of the public.
"I'm excited by the fact that we are growing business that will have more people working," she said.
"All of that means ultimately our province makes money and does better so for me that benefit may be enough."
The right to make beer and wine in so-called U-vint stores flared up a year ago, when the province's Crown-owned liquor agency sought a court order to prevent the owners of Wine Kitz Halifax and Water 'n' Wine in New Glasgow from producing wine and beer in their shops.
The previous New Democratic government later ordered the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation to drop the case in the face of a growing public backlash.