Is Your BC Retail Operation Prepared for Changes to Canada’s Marijuana Laws?

With changes to Canadian and BC marijuana laws imminent, intense planning and discussion has been underway in BC within provincial government bodies, the private sector, and the public. In April 2017, the Government of Canada introduced the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) with plans to legalize non-medical cannabis and amend Canada’s Criminal Code by July 2018.

While the BC government sought input (see “BC Cannabis Regulation Engagement” for details) and stakeholders are jockeying for position in the marijuana retail race, there are still many unknowns. What will the control, sale and distribution of marijuana in BC look like? How should retailers ensure their place in what is likely to be a long and competitive queue? Read more

10 Steps to a Successful Liquor Inspection

This easy-to-use Liquor Inspection Checklist has been developed to help ensure your establishment has the best chance of passing a routine inspection by police, fire, and liquor inspectors, and that you are compliant with various requirements of the inspection authorities. On May 25, 2017 Rising Tide partnered with ABLE BC to conduct a 45 minute webinar with a Q&A session at the end that touches on topics of wine on grocery store shelves and marijuana. Visit ABLE BC to listen to the webinar.

Below is the checklist we highly recommend every establishment have on hand. If you would like any assistance in creating your binders, or if you have any questions or would like more information please contact Rebecca Hardin at Rising Tide Consultants.


One binder in your establishment containing:

– Copy of your current liquor license, business license, and occupant load certificate
– Copy of Liquor Branch and local government approved and stamped floor plan(s) showing licensed capacities and location of signage required by the Liquor Branch (e.g. Mandatory Social Responsibility Poster, No Liquor Beyond This Point, No Minors Permitted)
– List of all management and staff members including their address, contact phone number, and a copy of their current Serving It Right certificate. This should be updated on a regular basis due to staffing changes.
– List of key contacts including phone numbers and addresses for: police (non-emergency number), liquor inspector’s office and cell number (if they offer it), fire department (non-emergency number), BC Hydro, Taxi, Uber, Safe Ride Home programs, and Management and Ownership contact information
– Copy of any recent Liquor Branch approval letters for a change of hours, minors endorsement, capacity changes, structural changes, and other related matters pertaining to your establishment
Duplicate binder behind the bar or in close proximity to your posted

– Ensure all exit signs are lit
– Ensure exit ways are kept clear of any obstructions

– Ensure all exit doors can be opened and are not locked

– Ensure you and your staff control the entry and exiting out of your establishment
– Monitor the proper capacity count at all times

You are required to display at least one social responsibility poster or tent card from the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.
Additional due diligence signage: 2 Pieces of ID Required, No Minors Permitted, No Liquor Beyond This Point
Prepared by ABLE BC and Rising Tide Consultants May 2017

Get to know your liquor inspector, police and fire officials, health inspector, and local government officials
Ensure your staff and security know who these officials are, and are cooperative, pleasant and professional towards them as they conduct their inspections

Never make it known to your patrons that the liquor inspector is on the premises

Hold a daily staff huddle before shifts and cover:

– Enforcement issues
– Concerns and expectations
– Review policies and procedures
– Promotions and specials
– Upcoming events

Record your team meetings in your bound log book. This will show that continual ongoing education is conducted and managers are doing their due diligence.

Hold regular staff training sessions to ensure staff understands your policies and procedures and your expectations. You can also cover recent policy changes and sensitive issues, such as serving minors, over-crowding, and intoxication.

Prepare a second Liquor Register binder to keep in your office and available to authorities to review upon request. The binder should include:

– Copies of all invoices and receipts for liquor orders from suppliers
– Doc60 forms from the LDB
– In the absence of Doc60, the purchaser’s receipt from the LDB is acceptable
– Should record all purchases and transfers and report liquor store location, and faulty or damaged kegs

Prepare a comprehensive policy and procedures manual covering all aspects of managing and operating your licensed establishment, with the emphasis on liquor related policies involving minors, intoxication, capacity, gangs, fights, etc.
Other Helpful Tips

– Personnel changes at LCLB can impact your establishment. Get to know your inspector and meet their expectations.
– If an infraction does occur, having a comprehensive Policy and Procedures manual and being able to demonstrate your due diligence is the best defense.


Marijuana Legalization in Canada – Who Will Distribute Marijuana in BC?

As British Columbia liquor license consultants, Rising Tide Consultants is closely watching the discussion (and Liberal government actions) on marijuana legalization in Canada with great interest. Currently, we have more questions than answers, including who will distribute marijuana in BC. Read more