B.C.’s Business Technical Advisory Panel (Liquor Policy) released a report late last month that lists 23 recommendations for how the B.C. government should improve liquor regulation in the province.
Panel chair Mark Hicken told Business in Vancouver that the recommendation that received the most resounding support among panelists was to speed deliveries by enabling restaurant owners and liquor retailers to get deliveries directly from supplier warehouses instead of always directly from a warehouse run by the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB).
Some other key recommendations include:
•Restaurant owners should be able to buy alcohol at a new wholesale price and from private stores as well as government stores;
•Ending the “conflict of interest” at the BCLDB, where the CEO is in charge of managing retail operations as well as wholesale operations to competing retailers;
•The BCLDB should reassess its mandate to increase its own revenue when that could have adverse consequences on other parts of the industry or on consumers;
•Minimum restaurant drink prices should be based on alcohol content and not product categories (such as beer, wine and spirits);
•Regulation of alcoholic-beverage manufacturers in B.C. should be consolidated under what has recently been renamed the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (formerly the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) and not split between that branch and the BCLDB; and
•The province’s 12 independent wine stores (such as Marquis Wine Cellars) should be able to convert into private liquor stores without having to meet the threshold of being one kilometre away from the nearest competition.
Click here to read the full report.