New Laws Come Into Effect Today

New Laws Come Into Effect Today
January 23, 2017 Amber Bruce

January 23 marked a day we’ve been waiting for.

The Liquor Control and Licencing Act has been updated as a result of the long and arduous task of reviewing the old and out dated policies, making way for more flexibility in bar programs among many other changes.

Here are some of the updates from the Province of British Columbia’s website (New Modern Liquor Laws Come into Effect, Jan.22, 2017),

  • all types of businesses, like barbershops, salons, book stores and art galleries, to apply for a liquor licence, giving them opportunities to generate new revenue;
  • businesses to apply for a Special Event Permit, formerly a Special Occasion Licence, to reduce red tape involved in organizing events and festivals;
  • hotels and resorts that own a bar on the premises to offer guests a complimentary alcoholic beverage upon check-in and permit guests to carry their drinks from licenced areas directly to their rooms;
  • restaurants and bars to create unique cocktails through liquor infusions and barrel-aging, keeping up with a strong ‘cocktail culture’ that has emerged in Europe, the United States and across Canada;
  • applicants to receive more timely decisions on their licence applications due to local governments and the Province being able to review liquor licence applications at the same time;
  • theatres to permit customers to consume liquor purchased on-site in both the lobby and licensed seating areas when minors are present, similar to arenas and stadiums;
  • restaurants to apply to operate as a bar or nightclub after a certain hour;
  • bars to apply for a restaurant licence to operate as a restaurant during certain hours;
  • licensed facilities to use space for non-alcohol-related purposes while liquor is not being served;
  • golf course patrons to take a drink from one service area to another;
  • private liquor stores to sell different keg sizes;
  • caterers to store liquor off-site similar to other licensees and advertise liquor;
  • non-licensees to mention liquor in advertising, as long as they aren’t promoting it, permitting the development of promotional materials, such as maps, apps and brochures to promote B.C.’s wineries, distilleries and breweries;
  • manufacturers to offer patrons liquor other than what is produced on-site and offer a guided tour of their establishment without having to apply for permission to do so; and
  • licensees to request that government reconsider an enforcement decision under certain circumstances to avoid a costly court hearing and choose between a monetary penalty or licence suspension for a first contravention.

View the full article, with other changes on the Province of British Columbia’s website.