Vancouver first in B.C. to allow liquor sales in grocery stores

Beer, wine and spirits to be sold at stores this year

People in Vancouver will soon be the first in B.C. to be able to buy alcohol at grocery stores.

City council passed a motion at a public hearing Tuesday night that will apply to all grocery stores over 929 square metres in size.

Wine, beer and spirits will be sold via the “store within a store” model approved by the B.C. government back in 2015.

Shoppers will have to buy their liquor at separate checkouts, not the general ones as allowed by stores selling BC VQA wine.

The city had to change a bylaw that had previously included drug stores in the definition of grocery stores, as drug stores are not permitted to sell liquor under B.C. regulations.

The only other grocery stores that could sell liquor prior to Vancouver’s ruling were rural agency stores, defined as independently-owned full-service general grocery stores that serve an area of less than 200 people (within five kilometres) and are more than 10 kilometres away from the nearest liquor store.

Vancouver will begin accepting applications from retailers next month.


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