B.C. to auction six licences for more grocery stores to sell wine

Grocery stores eager to sell 100% B.C. wine, cider and sake off grocery store shelves will have the chance to bid on six opportunities to apply for a licence

The B.C. government revealed new details about its long awaited auction process that it expects will eventually put 18 long-dormant licences into the hands of grocery store operators.

The licences will be auctioned off individually online, with staggered bidding opportunities at BC Auction. The first round of auctions is scheduled to take place in late April.

The right to apply for these licences will be auctioned off individually online, with staggered bidding opportunities at a government branch known as BC Auction.

The first round of auctions is scheduled to take place in late April, and will ensure fairness and transparency while determining the eligibility for the first six licences.

Only grocery stores that meet specified regulatory criteria will be eligible to bid – and a registration, pre-screening and $25,000 deposit is required for all bidders, for each licence they are bidding on.

The $25,000 deposit will be refunded to all unsuccessful bidders. Future auctions will require all grocers to go through the process all over again.

Another change announced is that 21 stores that are currently limited to selling wine that passes the British Columbia Vintner’s Quality Alliance standards will be able to sell all wine made 100% from grapes grown in B.C, giving smaller, non-VQA wineries more opportunity to get their products into stores.

Thrifty Foods on the corner of Quadra and Cook Street was granted a license to sell alcohol within the store In January. The first such license in Greater Victoria since new B.C. liquor laws went into effect last April .

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