B.C.’s liquor stores well positioned under new cannabis retail regulations - BCGEU

The new retail cannabis regulations announced by the B.C. government leaves B.C.'s liquor stores well-positioned to provide safe, secure, reliable access to non-medical cannabis products, the Responsible Marijuana Retail Alliance of BC (RMRABC) said today.

While the government chose not to allow the sale of alcohol and cannabis in the same store, because of federal recommendations against co-location, they will permit standalone cannabis retail stores to be located adjacent to B.C's liquor store outlets.

"We regret that our proposal was not adopted by government, but we believe the key principles outlined in our submission could help guide the regulation of non-medical cannabis use in BC," said B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union president Stephanie Smith. "We're confident that our members are well-positioned to provide secure, responsible retail options for British Columbians and will work collaboratively with the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch and local communities to assist in this transition."

"We strongly support the role of local governments to decide how cannabis is sold inside their borders," said Jeff Guignard, Executive Director of ABLE BC. "Although you won't see cannabis inside liquor stores, we remain eager to work with our municipal partners to ensure cannabis is retailed safely and responsibly by experienced retailers in aged-controlled environments,".

Public and private liquor stores provide a proven, effective and secure choice for the sale of controlled products across the province. RMRABC believes that the new retail model will help keep these products out of the reach of children and eliminate the need for British Columbians to purchase cannabis products from unregulated black-market suppliers.

The RMARBC is a joint initiative by the BCGEU and ABLE BC. Combined public and private liquor stores provide a network of about 860 retail outlets in communities across the province.