Policy Announcements

Providing samples in a socially responsible manner

Licensee retail stores and wine stores are now permitted to sell samples when conducting their own consumer tastings. They may also have a maximum of two manufacturers or agents providing free samples in their store at one time. Sample sizes are increased to ½ standard drink (75ml wine, 175 ml beer, 20 ml spirits) in total per person per day, divided as the licensee chooses

Confiscation of ID cards, minimum prices for off-premise sales, use of restraints by doorpersons

Effective immediately, the terms and conditions guides have been updated to clarify the ID checking requirements and to remove the suggestion that licensees should confiscate any patron’s identification.



Licensee not to give or accept gifts for promoting liquor

Licensees must not accept discounts on products, nor enter into paid or unpaid marketing program agreements to sell the liquor of a particular supplier. Licensees must carry and make available to consumers a representative selection of brands of liquor products from a variety of suppliers that are not associated with or connected with each other. Licensees must not sell shelf space or provide preferential shelf space locations to certain suppliers.

Permit hobby brewers and vintners to host competition events, allowing samples by judges and the public.

New Policy Amendments to the definition of “private special occasion licence” and section 15 of the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation now permit hobby brewers and vintners to obtain an SOL to hold a competition to showcase and judge beer, wine and cider that they have made. Liquor entered into the competition can be made in a residence or in an establishment licensed under 12.1 of the Act (a “Ferment on Premises or UBrew/UVin licensee).

Extend the hours that patrons can receive liquor through room service

Amendments to section 48 of the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation now permits liquor to be delivered to hotel guests by room service 24 hours a day (subject to local bylaws/zoning) as long as food is available for room service delivery (packaged snacks and convenience food do not satisfy this requirement).


The licensee delivering the room service must be located in the building that offers overnight accommodation (or on the resort property in the case of a resort) and may only deliver to registered guests in their rooms.

Extended Patio-Hours Pilot Program

Vancouver is continuing its extended patio-hours pilot program, which lets participating businesses operate their patios until 1 a.m. Historically, patios had to be closed by 11 p.m., but with the pilot’s success over the past two years, the option for select patios to stay open later may become permanent this summer. 

Your restaurant could serve patio customers until 1am daily if it has:

  • Insurance up to date
  • Fees paid in full
  • No patio noise complaints on file for the past 12 months
  • For establishments with a liquor licence, no restrictions on your liquor licence preventing extended hours

Visit City of Vancouver for application and details. 

Independent Wine Stores Relocation to Grocery Stores: Policy Directive 16-05

Section 14.1 of the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation has been amended to require independent wine stores to apply to LCLB no later than 4:30pm on August 19, 2016 if they wish to relocate to grocery stores to sell only 100% BC wine on grocery store shelves. The full Policy Directive 16-05 is attached here for further details. 

New Minimum Liquor Pricing: Policy Directive 16-04

The Liquor Control and Licencing Branch has released Policy Directive 16-04 Minimum Liquor Pricing in Liquor Stores which will also include Wine Stores and Manufacturer on-site stores. The LCLB has release a table of minimal pricing for retail sales.


This Directive will take effect May 1st


The Directive is attached above for you to download.

Grocery stores bid on new Special Wine Store License: Policy Directives 16-02 and 16-03

The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch of British Columbia has released Policy Directive 16-02. Bill 22 and regulations are now in force which is the Special Wine Store License Auction Act (Bill 22), and Policy Directive 16-03 stating changes to the BCVQA store.


LCLB is holding a series of auctions starting in April and selling a total of 18 Special wine store licenses, to be sold to Grocery store owners in BC.


Both Directives are linked above for you to look at.  Here, you will also find a copy of the “Special Wine Store License Auction & Licence Application Process Information for Interested Parties” and the “Special Wine Store Licence Auction Regulation”

Dine Out Vancouver is here!

For it's 14th consecutive year Dine Out Vancouver brings us a massive array of food events. A record number of 288 participating restaurants will be offering prix fixe menus at one of three price points, $20, $30, and $40.  Reservation are recommended!  Get out there and discover some great Vancouver eateries for Dine Out Vancouver from January 15 to 31.  We are always happy for another excuse to go visit some of the restaurant businesses we are priviledged to have been a part of.  


Click here for a comprehensive list of participating restaurants. 

No More Redlined Areas for Food Primary Operations

The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch of the BC Government released on November 23, 2015 a directive for all Food Primary operators in BC.  They are relaxing all Lounge Endorsements and relaxing other restriction including naming requirements.  All redlined areas of a bar in a Food Primary operation will now cease to be separated from the restaurant seats and will all be included as one.  Minors no longer need to be accompanied by an adult to enter this previously redlined section of a restaurant; signage for the lounge area no longer need to be displayed; and the bar and restaurant will no longer be divided as two different areas for the patrons.

Government employing minors to catch out liquor license operators.

On September 8th the Liquor Control and licensing Branch of British Columbia released a press release stating that it has new tactics in catching those liquor store operators selling to minors.


Sounds a little like entrapment to me. But here’s how the Article goes. 


They are claiming to have stepped up their game from sending in one minor (employed by the Liquor Control and Licensing Brach) whom would go in by themselves and try to purchase alcohol. Too now sending in a team (all employed by the LCLB) which can be one minor and two adults, however they like really. In this case it may be the adult of the minor who orders the alcohol (this one could be tricky).


With only a 28% non-compliance rate, and most of the sales to minors happening in Food Primary or Liquor Primary establishments, they are getting more than one in four of you. Be careful.

Liquor Sales in Grocery Stores

The BC Government has finally committed the date that Liquor Sales are permitted in Grocery Stores. In the November 19th press release the BC government has named April 1st 2015 as the date that Liquor sales can begin to happen within grocery stores. It is also the same day that the “Five Kilometer Rule” is removed, which allows you to purchase an existing liquor store and move it more than Five Kilometers from where it is currently located. Also a new wholesale pricing model for wine and spirits will take effect, and all liquor stores including Government Stores will be buying their product from the same distributer eliminating any perception of unfair pricing advantage for Government Liquor Stores. 

New York Restaurant pulls a security tape from ten years ago, and it’s interesting to see how their habits have changed.

Here is just an interesting little article I read the other day. It is a simple story of a New York restaurant that was getting a number of bad reviews for slow service. The restaurant had been a staple in New York for many years, so this was a little surprising to the owners. So upon investigation, have a look at what they found. Read the article here 


Store-within-a-Store Liquor Purchase

The B.C. Government has expanded on their March 6th outline for the store-within-a-store model for selling alcohol under the same roof you buy your child’s breakfast cereal.


Some of the additions to the March 6th plan are that store must be selling 75% food, not be a general merchandise store (No liquor sales for you, Walmart) no convenience stores and they must be over 10,000 sq/ft. The one kilometer rule will be maintained and expanding to include BC Liquor Stores. This rule doesn’t allow another Liquor Store to be opened with-in one kilometer of a pre-existing store. Basically guys… this allows two current grocery stores in Vancouver to bring in another license, otherwise they need to purchase one with-in their one kilometer radius. Those stores that can open with a new license, are both “Choices” one of which is on West 16th and the other is on West 57th. The moratorium on Liquor Stores that was put in place in 2012 will be staying in place until 2022. Although the Government is exploring a second model which may give out a limited number of licences which will allow the sale of BC wine on designated shelves with-in some stores.


We still don’t expect this to roll out until the spring of 2015, so I am sure we will see a lot of tweaking from the B.C. Government between now and then.