New B.C. liquor law means wineries have less restrictions

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Wine bottles/Shutterstock

The B.C. government announced more lax laws where breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries in the province are concerned.

Previously, B.C. alcohol producers were only allowed to sell their own products on site, but now they will be allowed to sell other producer’s products.

For example, wineries could only sell their own wine on site and large parties had to get a special occasion license in order to be able to serve alcohol that the winery doesn’t produce. That is no longer the case, as long as they have licensed lounges or special event areas.

“We are doing away with B.C.’s archaic liquor rules. Today’s change will both create more selection for consumers, and support B.C. tourism, small businesses and our many incredible liquor producers,” said Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton in a statement.

Weddings are commonly held at wineries and the new changes will allow some of the red tape to be cut when it comes to planning the big day.

Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick hopes this will contribute to B.C.’s agrifoods sector developing into a $14 billion a year industry over the next couple of years.

“These changes mean there are more opportunities for B.C.s artisan spirit, wine and beer producers to showcase and sell their products to local residents and visitors, and compete with products from around the world,” he said.

The changes are not without conditions, however. Only 20% of all liquor sales each quarter can be from off-site producers, in order to keep the focus on B.C.

Wine bottles on store shelves/Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Vancouver says no to wine sales in Urban Fare grocery store

The plan is part of the B.C. government’s attempt to modernize the province’s liquor laws, which includes allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores. Some stores in Vancouver have been ready to sell wine since the start of April, but restrictions with the City of Vancouver have prevented that from going forward.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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