What is BCLDB (BC Liquor Distribution Branch)?

BCLDB (BC Liquor Distribution Branch), as the name implies, oversees the alcoholic beverage industry in British Columbia. BCLDB is one of two branches of government responsible for beverage alcohol in BC – the other being the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB), which regulates and monitors the industry.

BC Liquor Distribution Branch reports to the Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

Some BCLDB Facts

  • BCLDB is the sole buyer and distributor for BC’s public and private liquor retailers.
  • BC Liquor Distribution Branch conducts business with liquor manufacturers (suppliers) and their agents. Suppliers and agents interested in distributing (and marketing) their products in BC liquor stores must first apply for an agent or manufacture’s license at the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. Registered agents and suppliers can register products for distribution and sale in BC.
  • One of the largest retailers in BC – selling $3.16 billion in liquor in 2015/16 (1) for a net income of $1.03 billion (1).
  • One of the province’s largest employers – employing 4000 workers in 2015/16 (1).
  • Recognized, in 2017, as one of BC’s top employers and one of Canada’s top 100 employers.
  • Has a General Manager, CEO who is responsible for overseeing the Liquor Distribution Act.

Doing Business with BC Liquor Distribution Branch Can Be Complex

BCLDB has complete control over products they register and how much they order. Since BCLDB wholesale pricing policy changes in 2015, craft breweries and licensed retail stores (LRS) have experienced difficulties related to BCLDB wholesale pricing.

Related articles:

Read “BCLDB Complexity: A Liquor Licensing Consultant is a Must”.
Read “Strategic Buying: LTOs from BCLDB”.

BCLDB to be Distributor of Non-Medical Cannabis in BC

In anticipation of the Canada-wide legalization of non-medical marijuana, the government of British Columbia sought input from stakeholders, including the public (2), compiled in the “Cannabis Regulations in BC – What We Heard” report.  That input, from nearly 49,000 British Columbians, helped shape BC government’s decisions related to cannabis legalization. Following suit with other provinces, cannabis will be distributed in BC via government-run wholesale distribution model, namely the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. The BC government anticipates establishing a retail model that includes public and private retailers (similar to how liquor is sold in BC). The retail model will be announced sometime in early 2018.


  1. Statistics from “BC Liquor Distribution Branch Annual Service Plan Report 2015/16”.
  2. BC Government News Release: “B.C. releases first decisions on cannabis regulation after public engagement”.

Read other articles related to BCLDB.

Considering Becoming a Registered Liquor Manufacturer or Agent?

If you require help applying for a manufacturer (supplier) or agent liquor license in BC, contact our expert BC liquor license consultants at Rising Tide Consultants. We’ll guide you through the process and increase your chances for application approval.