Ontario urged to allow craft beer and spirits at farmers' markets and online

Jul 23 2019, 1:09 pm

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has released its recommendations to the provincial government, suggesting better ways to regulate alcohol sales.

The report, titled Refreshing the sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario, aims to “modernize the sale” of alcoholic beverages across the province.

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In order to mobilize said modernization, a handful of recommendations were made, including:

  • The sale of spirits to the new distributions of beer, cider, and wine in corner, convenience and big-box stores.
  • The AGCO allowing for Ontario spirits and craft beer producers with retail stores to sell their products at farmers’ markets.
  • The Government of Ontario amending the Liquor Licence Act to allow Ontario beverage alcohol producers to sell their products through online marketplaces using third parties to process payments.
  • Providing airports with an exemption under the Liquor Licence Act, allowing them to sell beverage alcohol 24-hours a day, in post-security areas for both international and domestic passengers.
  • The creation of a new alcohol licence that would allow for private, independent wine stores.
  • The AGCO allowing mead producers to partner with local beekeepers to meet the current 100 colonies requirement and/or acquire honey from Ontario beekeepers to produce their own products.
  • The AGCO revisiting the requirement that mead producers must have 100 honey bee colonies each year, reducing the number to 50 to align with the Agricorp requirement for commercial insurance coverage.

Alongside the above outlined recommendations, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is also calling for the government to “engage the beverage alcohol industry to increase public awareness and understanding of responsible consumption.”