The BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (formerly the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) is now accepting applications for non-medical cannabis retail licenses.
Once legalization comes into effect on October 17, BC residents will be able to purchase cannabis from either government-run BC Cannabis Stores or through private retail outlets. Online sales will also be government-run, facilitated by Shopify.
Earlier in June, the LCRB released its eligibility guidelines for those looking to enter the private cannabis retail game.
The province stated that “all applicants will be assessed using the same evaluation criteria, which includes obtaining local government support and background checks of police/criminal records which will be examined on a case by case basis.”
Having a criminal record or operating an illegal dispensary prior to legalization will not automatically exclude an individual from being considered for a license.
Prospective retailers will have to comply with local government regulations, such as proximity restrictions and hours of operation.
The provincial government with not be capping the number of licenses issued in BC, but local governments “will have the authority to make local decisions based on the needs of their communities.”
Applicants must apply through the cannabis licensing application portal which can be found here.
A full list of licensing requirements can be seen here.