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Cannabis Licensing for Marketers and Retailers

Date: May 16, 2018
Author: Dennis Coates QC

MJB Lawyers has been watching carefully as the new cannabis rules evolve from the Federal Government, Provincial Government and Local Governments around the Province.

Licences for cannabis retailers will be issued and monitored by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch ("LCLB") and the Liquor Distribution Branch ("LDB"). Over the past 25 years, Dennis Coates has specialized in liquor licensing and enforcement matters with the LCLB and LDB, and has provided planning advice relative to liquor licensed establishments. Dennis will continue to apply that expertise as it relates to cannabis marketing and retailing.

In April 2018, the BC Government tabled legislation regarding cannabis licensing.  There is no specific date projected by any governments yet for licensing, but it is expected that the Provincial applications will commence in the summer of 2018 and local Government applications will commence in the fall of 2018.

The licensing process is expected to be lengthy and complex. Many issues will arise, such as:

  • securing local Government approval, involving zoning applications, building applications and business licences;
  • location of the establishment and its proximity to other retailers or marketers;
  • determining whether an applicant is fit and proper to receive a licence, similar to the current LCLB liquor related analysis;
  • enforcement of the terms and conditions of the cannabis licence, including ensuring that cannabis is not provided to minors or to intoxicated persons; and
  • retention of sales records and camera information.

MJB Lawyers would be pleased to assist you with any stage of the cannabis licensing process.