At the end of 2014, the provincial government announced that grocery stores would be able to sell B.C. wine on their shelves, next to food, beginning in April 1, 2015. And while some Lower Mainland cities like Surrey, White Rock, Langley and Tsawwassen have started selling wine in grocery stores, the City of Vancouver has yet to get onboard.
Instead, the City of Vancouver has rejected the recommendation of a one-year pilot project that would allow five grocery stores to sell B.C. wine temporarily. City councillors decided to take a conservative approach after hearing concerns from a Vancouver Coastal Health medical officer.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Vancouver
And while the city is looking at stricter policies and a larger review on liquor reforms, the medical marijuana dispensaries are only now starting to deal with zoning and business licensing regulations. The city of Vancouver voted to regulate the marijuana industry in June.
In October, the city issued new zoning and business licensing regulations for marijuana dispensaries. Earlier this year, 176 businesses applied for licenses. Of those, 11 marijuana shops were approved to continue on to the second phase of the application process. But the owners of a large number of businesses that did not meet the new regulations have planned to appeal the rejection of their applications. And those rejected businesses are still allowed to operate for another six months regardless.
The city’s approach to B.C. wines in grocery stores differs greatly to the initial allowances of medical marijuana dispensaries.
Global News looked at the number of dispensaries in Vancouver compared to the number of liquor stores —; and would the addition of five grocery stores providing wine be a tipping point?
MAP: Number of Liquor Stores versus Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Vancouver
Red points: Liquor Stores in Vancouver
Green points: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Vancouver
~ with files from April Johnson