Liquor laws clarified to help non-profit organizations

Presently, B.C. law requires anyone who sells liquor to be licensed & to be purchased from the Liquor Distribution Branch

Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman recently confirmed the Province will take a “common sense” approach that will allow non-profit organizations to conduct fundraising using gift baskets or similar items that have liquor as one of its components.

The law will be permanently clarified by legislative changes at a later date.

The approach enables charities and non-profits to conduct certain types of fundraising, such as auctions, using liquor provided it is a part of a gift basket or an equivalent basket of goods. The liquor must have been commercially produced and must not be consumed at the event.

Presently, B.C. law requires anyone who sells liquor to be licensed and for the liquor sold under that licence to be purchased from the Liquor Distribution Branch or another approved outlet, such as a B.C. winery.

Charities that wish to fundraise using only liquor, without other items as a primary component of a basket, will have to wait until new legislation is in place. For those organizations, a special occasion licence will continue to be required and the liquor will have to be purchased through the Liquor Distribution Branch.

“From time to time, we find outdated liquor policies that may have been relevant at a particular time in history but don’t work today,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Liquor, “Our goal is to get rid of these outdated liquor laws that unnecessarily restrict British Columbians and to regulate alcohol responsibly in the process.”

To learn more about the rules for liquor licensing in the British  Columbia, visit: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/LLinBC/index.htm