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BC Makes Wholesale Pricing for Hospitality Industry Permanent; DTC from Off-Site Storage Returns

Two significant developments in the liquor industry today.

Firstly, the BC Government has made wholesale (i.e. normal) pricing for the hospitality industry permanent. This measure was introduced in July of last year on a temporary basis to assist the struggling industry and was set to expire at the end of next month. However, the change has now been made permanent. This is a very welcome change and has been a policy reform that the restaurant/bar/hotel industry has been requesting for decades. It was a recommendation of the original BTAP Report and was the subject of continued consultation of the BTAP group and Government. It means that BC now has a normal pricing system for liquor in the hospitality business under which the industry can purchase liquor at regular wholesale prices (as happens almost everywhere else in the world). Prior to this, industry had to buy at full retail price which created higher end-consumer prices and lower hospitality profit margins. This is a very welcome change which will be vital for the recovery of the industry following the pandemic. News release here: Permanent wholesale pricing will help hospitality sector recover.

Secondly, Government has also re-introduced the ability of local manufacturers to deliver direct to consumer from secondary storage locations. This measure was also introduced on a temporary basis last year and expired on October 31. It has now been re-introduced with a current expiry date of December 31, 2021. This measure was also the subject of continued consultation between the BTAP group and Government. I note that this also places BC manufacturers on an equal footing to their competitors in neighboring jurisdictions. All of the west coast jurisdictions currently permit this. LCRB Policy change is here: DTC Off-site Storage Permitted.

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