It appears that the provincial government’s recent announcement of liquor stores coming to local grocery stores is too good to be true as it comes with a big catch.
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Within the City of Vancouver, only two of 53 large grocery stores are eligible for the liquor “store-within-the-store” policy as they are deemed far enough from existing regulated liquor stores, reports the Vancouver Sun.
An antiquated law forbids new liquor retailers within a 1-km radius of existing public or private liquor stores. Only two liquor stores are more than one kilometre away and would be eligible based on this sole technicality, and they are both Choices Market organic and natural grocer stores located at West 16th Avenue and West 57th Avenue.
According to the Sun, the majority of the city’s grocery stores are less than 150-metres away from a liquor store. The provincial government has suggested that grocery stores that see liquor sales as a worthy business venture could buy out a liquor store within 1-km. However, “39 of the 53 grocery stores in Vancouver have at least two liquor stores within a one-kilometre radius, and 28 – more than half – have at least three.”
Liquor sales at a grocery store in downtown Vancouver could prove to be impossible with some stores having 10 or more liquor stores within a 1-km radius of where they are located.
The liquor “store-within-the-store” policy will be enacted in early-2015. However, without a change in the distance policy, Vancouverites should probably keep their expectations low when it comes to buying liquor at their local grocery store anytime soon.
Featured Image: BC Newsroom