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Dugald Smith, former Deputy General Manager of the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, joins Rising Tide Consultants as Senior Licensing Consultant.

Dugald Smith, former Deputy General Manager of the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, joins Rising Tide Consultants as Senior Licensing Consultant.

“In my career as a regulator, finding opportunities to support the industry and small businesses has always been the best part of the job. I look forward to working with Bert Hick and his team in helping licensees and applicants to navigate the regulatory environment and find solutions to their business challenges.” – Dugald Smith

Dugald joins Rising Tide from the Provincial Government having spent the latter part of his career with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). His formal education includes a Bachelor of Science and a Certificate in Business and Management.

Before joining the LCRB, Dugald worked as an Executive Director with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, where he played a key role in negotiating various agreements with First Nations, including the Maa nutlh and T’lamin treaties. 

With the LCRB over the past six years, Dugald has held several leadership roles, including Deputy General Manager of Licensing and Executive Director responsible for Programs and Strategy. He also was the Project Director on the development of the Cannabis Retail Store licensing framework, leading the implementation of the regulatory, policy and operational programs.

Dugald has significant senior experience in liquor policy and licensing operations at an executive level and brings unique insights into the legal cannabis industry, regulatory challenges and opportunities this industry faces. 

“I am honoured and thrilled that Dugald Smith has joined the Rising Tide team and we are very much looking forward to working with him for years to come.

When I first met Dugald years ago, it was in a meeting with the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch officials. We had an instant likeness and respect for each other. Over the years when Dugald was the Acting General Manager of the Branch, we would agree on some applications and policy issues and at times, it was a compromise. On a few issues, it was a case of “agree to disagree.” He was the regulator and I was the consultant pushing the boundaries. However, we always respected our different perspectives and regulatory limitations.

Dugald brings to Rising Tide a wealth of experience and knowledge which will becombined with my 35 years of consulting experience and previous experience as the General Manager of the Liquor Branch to further serve our clients and expand our horizons.

I look forward to introducing Dugald as he transitions to the private sector and thewonderful world of licensing from our side of the street!” Bert Hick -President & Founder, Rising Tide Consultants
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Rising Tide’s Preferred Construction Management Partner: Pacific Solutions Contracting

Pacific Solutions Contracting does commercial construction differently. And here at Rising Tide, we couldn’t be happier! We’ve seen way too many of our industry friends struggle through the complexities of construction over the years. It can be a daunting path to go down, so Pacific set out to change that experience –  proving why they are quickly becoming Vancouver’s leading boutique hospitality construction company. 

Integrated Construction Partner

At the heart of it all, Pacific takes a more integrated and collaborative approach than a traditional general contracting firm. This makes them an excellent partner for both entrepreneurs and business groups looking for a trusted partner in construction to help lead them through a renovation or new construction while they look after their business. 

Pacific Solutions Contracting has intentionally built their organization in a way that supports their clients throughout the full life cycle of their businesses, with personalized services that include:

  • Early concept planning guidance.
  • Location and lease review.
  • Pre-construction management.
  • Consultant & network referrals for architects, designers, and engineers.
  • Marketing content support.
  • Post-construction support and maintenance.

Hospitality Experts & Resource

Since their inception in 2010, Pacific has sharpened their expertise in hospitality construction. They understand where the red flags are hiding, where the common pitfalls are that business owners can find themselves in, and they are tapped into market pricing, supply chain logistics, and construction economics. With their finger on the pulse, their team of “Solutionists” are proactive in scheduling, budgetary forecasting, and are experts at finding creative solutions for any obstacle that may come up throughout the construction process.  

Pacific is humbly honored to showcase over 150 social destinations in their portfolio. From Michelin-starred restaurants to your favorite neighborhood coffee shop, you’ve probably enjoyed a number of their establishments such as:

  • Tacofino (Ocho, Oasis, Kits, Hastings Street, Gastown)
  • Nook Restaurants (Olympic Village, Kitsilano, Shipyards)
  • Published
  • Steamworks Mount Pleasant
  • Mount Pleasant Vintage
  • Ca Marche
  • Lumine Coffee
  • Lee’s Donuts
  • The Gray Olive
  • Juke
  • Cartems Donuts
  • Kam Wai Dim Sum
  • Catch 122
  • Local Public Eatery (River District)
  • La Grotta Del Formaggio
  • Jungle Room
  • Nanoose Bay Cafe
  • Potluck Cafe Society

Steamworks Main Street

Tacofino Ocho

Published on Main

From Their #madebypacific Clients

“I have never encountered a construction firm with an entire team of people who care so much about me, my priorities, and my bottom line. It was a pleasure getting to know the team during the construction process and many have become regulars at my establishment. Having a construction partner like Pacific is an essential part of launching a new business, and I always appreciate knowing they are there to support my business for anything I need in the future.”

Bryan Markovic | Owner/Operator, Steamworks Mount Pleasant

“We always felt like Pacific had our best interests in mind in order to keep control of our budget and schedule. The regular meetings and constant contact with their operations team ensured we were always informed every step of the way. The quality of the millwork craftsmanship by Pacific is also evident, and everything came together exactly as we had envisioned.”

Cody Allmin | Owner, Published Restaurant

About Pacific

Pacific was born out of a love for the city that they call home. Their team truly takes pride in seeing our local communities grow and evolve through unique spaces. They believe in supporting all creative businesses and helping them find success. Regardless of size, scope, complexity, or budget, the team at Pacific is always happy to guide the community in the right direction when it comes to any questions (small or large) about commercial construction. Feel free to reach out and say hi!


Phone: 604 620 3993


Instagram: @pacificsolutionscontracting

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Whiskey on the Rocks

Rising Tide Consultants Offer Strategic Action Plans to Protect Business from The Minors as Agents Program


Rising Tide Consultants has 35 years of experience in Liquor Licensing and Compliance and is the expert in navigating challenging situations for hospitality and retail. The Government Minors As Agents Program is something all owners and operators should be watching out for to avoid a $7,000 fine and possible 21 day closure!

In November 2022, the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch announced they were resuming the Minors as Agents Program of sending a minor into restaurants, bars, and liquor stores without providing identification. They have been very successful in catching licensees not requiring 2 pieces of valid identification in these transactions.

Rising Tide Consultants can help you avoid falling victim to this targeted program by arming you with the right information and training to lay the proper groundwork to avoid penalties or dispute a charge if you are caught in non-compliance.

We will do an on-site visit to your establishment to thoroughly audit your operation and provide you with a personalized Strategic Plan that will inform you of what you can do to set you up for the best chance of success.

We will address proper policies and procedures with regard to ID practices, communication to your staff and management, and updated systems you can put in place to ensure compliance and give you the defence of due diligence. We can also customize a policies and procedures manual for your business for an additional fee.

Value $1,200
Feature Rate $499 (+applicable taxes)

Contact us now to lock in this feature rate and protect your business against this program that the branch is making a very significant priority at a time when the industry is still fragile.

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Unrecognizable Barista pouring a beer in a pub

Avoid a $7000 Fine and Possible 21 Day Closure for your Business

Think the Minors As Agents Program doesn’t apply to you? Think again

The ‘Minors as Agents’ program is ramping up inspections and enforcement. Are you prepared? Rising Tide provides support, knowledge and expertise in all facets of liquor licensing, compliance and enforcement issues. One of the hot topics facing the industry right now is the MINORS AS AGENTS program. 

Although it is commonly thought that retail liquor stores are the main targeted businesses for this initiative, it actually applies to all liquor primary, food primary, restaurants, pubs, cannabis stores as well as retail liquor stores.

The Minors as Agents program is funded and regulated by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, whereby “youthful-appearing adults” are recruited to attempt to purchase liquor on the Branch’s behalf from businesses selling liquor or cannabis. The youthful appearance of the agents is intended to raise concerns by employees as to whether or not the agents were minors and proceed to require two pieces of proper identification before the purchase of liquor or cannabis is allowed. The issue is the agents can often appear older, and if a judgment call is made to not ask for ID, the business can be in some very hot water. 

The first infraction is a $7,000 FINE or 7 day suspension. If you pay this fine and the infraction goes on your permanent record, then your second or subsequent infractions within a calendar year (and you can be sure that they will be targeting your establishment again) could result in a higher fine or up to a 21-DAY SUSPENSION of your liquor license.

Rising Tide Consultants are experts on this program, so we can help your business take measures to protect against the risks and penalties and, if necessary, fight a non-compliance charge alongside you. We also do audits of licensed establishments to make sure they can pass a routine inspection by ensuring the proper policies and procedures are in place. Contact us now and learn how to avoid falling victim to this targeted program. Government is increasing its focus and has been ramping up inspections and enforcement last year, and it will be continuing in 2023.

Rising Tide can provide you with updated Policy and Procedure manuals, training on ID protocols and placement of appropriate ID signage within your establishment so that your staff are armed with the right information and training to lay the proper groundwork to avoid penalties or dispute a charge if you are caught in non-compliance.

We’re here to help.
Contact Us
Your Initial Consultation is Complimentary.

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Vancouver makes positive move in liberalizing Liquor Laws

Bert Hick, President & Founder of Rising Tide Consultants, spoke March 8th at the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services on Vancouver’s efforts to liberalize rules governing alcohol and the hospitality industry. Up for discussion was a “dual license” that would enable an establishment to serve food during the day and then transition into a bar in the evening.

Vancouver council considers three “dual licence” applications, from Cinema Public House and Cold Tea, both on the Downtown Granville strip, as well as Hamburger Mary’s in Davie Village.

Bert addressed Council asking for 2 Miracles.

“Miracle #1 is to amend current legislation to allow new establishments that are opening to apply for a dual license right off the bat. Right now, you have to have an existing Class 1 or Class 2 license in order to apply for a dual license.”

“Miracle #2 is to get rid of the antiquated policy that predates 2005 that simply does not work and doesn’t exist in any other city, regarding the minimum distance between certain classes of liquor primary establishments, when existing establishments are seeking dual licensing.”

Following Mr. Hick’s address to Council, we are pleased to announce that Cinema Public House has been approved for their dual license!

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Young Indian Businesswoman Using Digital Tablet in Office

What Is a BC Electronic Identification and Why It’s Needed For a Licensing Application?

When you wish to apply for any liquor or cannabis-related license, you are required to obtain and use a BCeID (BC Electronic Identification). Applicants log in through the BCeID. All of their personal and business information is accessible within a dashboard that allows them to apply in a few short steps easily. 

What is a BCeID, and why do you need to obtain one to apply? The service is relatively new, and many people are unfamiliar with this service and what residents can accomplish through the signup process. 

Applying for liquor and cannabis licensing isn’t the only industry that requires this digital ID. Honestly, using this service can be beneficial, providing services that make specific processes run smoother and finalize quicker. 

If you haven’t signed up for the BCeID and need more information, we can fill you in. Keep reading for specific information on the BC Electronic Identification and why it’s needed for certain license applications. 

What is a BCeID (BC Electronic Identification)?

Business woman BCeID

The BCeID is an online portal that allows you to signup by inputting relevant information saved to fulfill requirements for certain online documents. There are three different types of BCeIDs. 

Basic BCeID (BC Electronic Identification) 

A Basic BCeID is used to access services in an individual capacity. You can access certain government and community services through a basic version of this ID if they don’t require identity verification. 

Personal BCeID

The Personal BCeID is essentially the same as the basic version, except for one notable difference. The personal version of this service verifies your identity for more sensitive documents that need to be submitted. 

Business BCeID

A Business BCeID is used for all types of business matters. This is the license you would sign up for when you apply for any liquor or cannabis-related licensing

What Can I Do With a BCeID (BC Electronic Identification)?

businessman checking on his BCeID

These are some of the services that are provided when you sign up for a BCeID. Remember, all of these can be accessed through the online dashboard once you sign up. 

  • Change of address
  • Information regarding adoption and child services
  • Child care benefits
  • Angling, hunting, and trapping licensing
  • Autism service providers
  • Business-related cannabis and liquor licensing
  • Medical and personal cannabis cards and renewals
  • Fishing license
  • E-payments
  • Forestry management
  • Vehicle emissions
  • Educational work
  • Transportation services

The services listed are only a portion of the conveniences provided on the BCeID dashboard. You can handle any government, personal, or business service from one location. This critical electronic service integrates nearly every vital platform for an individual to renew, establish or signup for any service or license. 

How Does it Work?

how does BC Electronic Identification work

The BCeID system works by interlinking individuals onto a platform accessed by government organizations and organizations in the community. Educational, financial platforms, social services, assistance programs, agricultural and business sectors are all registered. 

The connection between BC citizens and these services allows for the streamlining of paperwork and registration information. Once you sign up, everything is automated. 

After signing up for the BCeID, you fill out important information regarding personal information like address, phone number, and other vital statistics. You’ll also fill out pertinent information relevant to each section in the directory. This information is saved after you fill it out and stored to upload for other services when you need them quickly. 

This unique streamlined process saves users valuable time. Organizing all the information in one location allows you to keep track of important services you have updated and ones that need attention in the future. 

Why is this service so important for the cannabis and liquor industry?

Benefits of BCeID for Cannabis and Liquor Industry 

Open for business BC Electronic Identification

There are several benefits in using the BCeID service to submit applications for the cannabis and liquor industries. 

  • It’s convenient only to have to fill out your personal and business information one time—everything auto-fills when you come to subsequent areas you need to fill out. 
  • You’re connected directly to the agencies that need the application information.
  • If you don’t finish everything at once, you can save it and come back later. 
  • It’s easier to keep track of what you’ve filled out and when things need to be reapplied for. The dashboard lets you know when licensing expires. 
  • Easy identification makes it unnecessary to show up in person with a copy of your physical ID. 
  • There’s no need for appointments to fill out this information in person when you can do it from a central dashboard 

The use of the BCeID could revolutionize the way other countries and regions do business online. An all-inclusive platform like this could benefit nearly every government agency and sector of business. So it’s not surprising to find out that other areas are beginning to implement this same type of technology as we progress further into the future.

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Top Beverage and Cannabis Trends for 2022

Over the course of the last couple of years, quite a few things have changed in the world. Because of the pandemic, fewer people have been going out to bars and coffee shops than before, although it’s slowly starting to revert. The beverage industry, and cannabis industry, have changed to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Let’s look at some of the top trends for both alcohol and cannabis in the coming year.

2022 Alcohol Trends

What can you expect to see in the world of alcohol in the coming year? There are some continuing trends, as well as some things you might not expect.

More Online Alcohol Sales

ordering alcohol online

One of the biggest changes that have occurred, and that is likely here to stay, is the use of ecommerce for alcohol sales. Even though it was possible to buy alcohol online before the pandemic, it truly became popular during the height of COVID-19 because people were sheltering at home. They found that they could order alcohol online and they did… in droves. Even though more people are going out to bars and restaurants again, the trend of ordering alcohol online and having it delivered will likely stay.

Continuing Popularity of Whiskey

Whiskey has been popular for quite a while, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. People are not only drinking more whiskey, but they are trying out new brands and styles, learning about the way whiskey is made, how it’s stored, and more. The love and appreciation of whiskey are now similar to what wine lovers experience.

Many distilleries are popping up, and they often provide limited releases and special releases, which consumers love. They enjoy trying out new options and debating on their merits and flaws. It’s becoming a lifestyle, and you can be sure that the popularity will continue for years to come.

Celebrity Alcohol Brands Will Continue

Celebrities have been endorsing products since the beginning. Sometimes, they endorse or even own brands, including alcohol brands. Some of the popular names involved in the alcohol industry include Ryan Reynolds, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Mariah Carey, Brad Paisley, Bruno Mars, and Snoop Dogg to name just a few. You can expect to see even more of these celebrity-owned and endorsed brands in the future because they tend to do well.

More Trendy Beverages for 2022

You should also see a rise in the number of premium canned cocktails being made available by spirit distillers, along with more hard seltzers. Additionally, more and more people are becoming interested in hard coffee and hard kombucha. Interestingly, there is even rising popularity for low and no alcohol beverages for people who like to go out and be social, but who do not want to drink much.

Boxed wine, which used to have a bad reputation, is becoming popular because it tends to be a more sustainable choice. Sustainability is highly important for many consumers today. It also tends to be affordable, which is always a nice bonus.

2022 Cannabis Trends

What’s happening in the world of cannabis? With legalization in more states, as well as Canada, you can expect to see more cannabis products being released. From vape pens to edibles and everything in between, the world is becoming more accustomed to cannabis.

Drinkable Cannabis Products on the Rise

drinkable cannabis products are on the rise

One of the other big trends that we’re likely to see going forward will be cannabis you can drink. The stigma of cannabis is starting to fade, and more and more people are using it for a host of purposes—pleasure, help sleeping, anxiety, etc. However, not everyone wants to smoke or use edibles.

Therefore, many of the most prominent companies in the beverage and cannabis industry are making cannabis-infused drinks. This gives people another avenue of consumption. Drinking a beverage is something they are already familiar with, so they don’t need to know how to use a bong, roll a joint, etc.

The drinks go to work faster than edibles, which can often take an hour or more for someone to feel the effects. They are more discreet than smoking or vaping, as well. It’s expected that this will be one of the more popular 2022 cannabis trends.

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