British Columbia

Wine licences to be auctioned to B.C. grocery stores

More B.C.-made wine could soon find its way into grocery stores around the province — if those stores are able to secure the required licence.

Province will auction off six licences in April; an additional 12 to follow

Some B.C. grocery stores already sell wine, and the province is planning to license even more. (CBC)

More B.C.-made wine could soon find its way into grocery stores around the province — if those stores are able to secure the required licence.

The province plans to auction off six such licences in April, and an additional 12 in the future. The licences would allow their holders to sell 100 per cent made-in-B.C. wines on grocery store shelves.

In order to bid on these licences, stores must meet a number of criteria, including:

  • Being at least 929 square metres in size.
  • Not already being licensed to sell liquor.
  • A deposit of $25,000.

Ongoing liquor reforms

The announcement is the latest in a series of liquor reforms in recent years as the province attempts to loosen the laws around licensing.

In May of 2015, the government announced changes allowing Vinter Quality Alliance (VQA) and independent wine stores to transfer their licences to eligible grocery stores.

The City of Vancouver has yet to allow the sale of wine in any of its grocery stores.

In December, councillors shot down a pilot project that would allow wine sales in five grocery stores around the city, asking instead for a review of the province's new policies.


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