CANADA: BC hints at licensing relaxation
Stores currently only licensed to sell cold beer and wine in British Columbia may soon be permitted to sell spirits as well, according to a reported statement from the province's minister for competition, science and enterprise, Rick Thorpe.
As the law currently stands, only the state's monopoly stores are allowed to sell spirits.
"We have been asked by industry and private retailers to look at the possibility of selling spirits in what are known as cold beer and wine stores," said Thorpe.
"We are looking at that." A review of the government's current liquor distribution arrangements will be conducted in late-February or March during which this issue is to be discussed.
Also up for discussion is the possible lifting of the limit on the number of cold beer and wine stores in the province, which has been in place since the early-90s. But Thorpe stated categorically that the provincial government will not sanction the sale of spirits through privately-owned specialty wine stores or allow local grocery stores to sell beer and wine.
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