On October 4, 2021, the BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (BCLCRB) announced a 10-year extension to the new LRS license application moratorium, which was set to expire in July 1, 2022, and will now expire July 1, 2032. This is welcome news for BC’s private liquor store licensees, that had concerns there would be a wave of new store openings after the 2022 moratorium expiry, creating increased competition and reducing individual store revenues.
The moratorium was extended to mitigate public health concerns and the increased competition that could arise with a proliferation of new private liquor retailers. In a news release announcing the extension, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, said, “Minimizing increased access to retail liquor, as B.C. has done for most of a generation, clearly benefits public health and community safety…Extending the moratorium on new LRSs also provides certainty for the more than 650 existing licensees who employ thousands of British Columbians”.
With approval for BCLCRB, existing LRS licenses can still be transferred to new owners, and private wine stores can convert their wine store license to an LRS license by March 31, 2025.
If you are a BC LRS licensee who is considering selling their LRS, or, if you have a private wine store that you’d like to convert to an LRS, Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors can help! Our experienced BC liquor consultants take care of the time-consuming details and help ensure that applications are complete. By working with our liquor consultants, you increase the chances of a successful application transfer or conversion.