Written by Mark Hicken Mark Hicken
Category: Latest News Latest News
Published: 08 February 2013 08 February 2013

The BC government has announced some major changes to liquor laws and regulations that include the reform of tied house relationships (govt news release: BC Liquor Laws Get Overhauled). The tied house laws previously restricted the ability of a manufacturer such as a winery to sell its own products in another business with the same ownership. Other changes include: the expanded operation of tasting rooms for breweries and distilleries, changes to promotional restrictions, a markup exemption for distillers using 100% BC product, the appointment of a BC wine "envoy", the conversion of independent wine stores into licensees, and the inclusion of distance separation requirements for LRS stores in regulation rather than policy. Here is a summary of the changes:

Generally, these changes are all positive although there will likely be some complaints, as noted above, from those who believe that they do not go far enough. Links to policy directives on the above topics can be found here under "Policy Directives". In addition, the text of the relevant regulatory changes is available on the QP Legaleze site (subscription required) under 2013 Orders in Council 71, 72 and 73. If you are interested in further analysis of these topics, they will be covered by a special "late breaking news" session at the upcoming Wine Law Conference in Vancouver on February 25.