Comox Valley businesses could benefit from provincial liquor changes

Several revisions to liquor laws are intended to create new business opportunities, and to support breweries and distilleries in B.C.

Several revisions to liquor laws are intended to create new business opportunities, and to support breweries and distilleries in B.C., as announced by Energy Minister Rich Coleman.

He is also in charge of liquor control, licensing and distribution.

Under the changes, brewers and distillers can now apply to have an on-site consumption area. As well, small- and medium-sized liquor manufacturers will be allowed up to three common ownership and business relationships with licensed establishments off their manufacturing site.

In addition, rules around how liquor manufacturers can promote their products in bars and restaurants have been simplified by removing the requirement for a buy-sell agreement.

While the changes won’t have a big impact on his operation, the owner of Coastal Black Estate Winery in Black Creek is encouraged to see “antiquated” regulations being modernized.

“Overall, I think it’s fantastic,” Abel O’Brennan said. “To see some of that getting a bit of a retooling is great.”

He is especially pleased that an honourary wine envoy will be named with a mandate to better open domestic markets for B.C. wines.

Other changes are as follows:

• Wine stores will become licensees under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act;

• Criteria on whether private liquor stores can relocate within one kilometre of a liquor store is set out in regulation, not policy;

• Increases to liquor-primary capacity now require local government input;

• Rural agency stores can purchase unlimited amounts of beer through government liquor stores.

The changes could benefit Island Spirits Distillery on Hornby Island and Shelter Point Distillery between Courtenay and Campbell River, says Comox Valley MLA Don McRae.

There are 14 licensed distilleries in B.C.

Under the new rules, qualifying craft distilleries will be eligible to have full markup exemption on sales to licensed establishments and consumers. Distillers in B.C. can now double their maximum annual production from 25,000 to 50,000 litres of finished product and remain in the craft distillery category.

In addition, products need to contain 100 per cent B.C. raw agriculture materials and be distilled by a licensed B.C. distillery.

“British Columbia has a tradition of excellence in agriculture,” said McRae, a recent agriculture minister. “We’ve seen small breweries, wineries and distilleries evolve from a cottage industry to products renowned around the world. New changes to the craft distillery policies will help support their excellent work and support agritourism in the Comox Valley.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Comox Valley Regional District seeking input on development of Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed Plan

This fall, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is inviting the community… Continue reading

Lane closure in Courtenay at Lewis Centre

The City of Courtenay will be working on the water distribution system… Continue reading

Comox Valley’s Rainbow Youth Theatre hosting 30th birthday party

Join Rainbow Youth Theatre for a 30th anniversary celebration at the Sid… Continue reading

Hear from the Comox Valley’s female candidates at Person’s Day lunch

Candidates will have opportunity to present, distribute election materials and meet women voters

Comox Valley frontline resource fair upcoming

Did you know that for the past 12 years your local AHERO… Continue reading

Secret supper clubs test appetite for cannabis-infused food ahead of legalization

Chefs are eagerly awaiting pot edibles to become legal in Canada

Joint inspection planned for missing journalist at Saudi Consulate

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Washington Potst reporter Jamal Khashoggi

Courtenay’s Dingwall Road to be temporarily closed for construction

Next week, the intersection of Dingwall Road and McQuillan Road will be… Continue reading

Sears files for bankruptcy amid plunging sales, massive debt

The company started as a mail order catalogue in the 1880s

BREAKING: Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

The announcement of the pregnancy confirms weeks of speculation from royal watchers

Enbridge to begin building road to access pipeline explosion site in B.C.

An explosion Tuesday knocked out a 91-centimetre line

Andrew Scheer on revamped NAFTA deal: ‘I would have signed a better one’

Conservative leader says he wouldn’t have signed USMCA

Matheson will have NHL hearing after Canucks rookie Pettersson hit

The 19-year-old Swedish centre appeared woozy after the hit

GUEST COLUMN: A better way to manage B.C.’s public construction

Claire Trevena responds to Andrew Wilkinson on NDP union policy

Most Read