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Liquor Licensing

Ontario Liquor Licenses

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is the Ontario provincial regulatory agency and regulates gaming, horse racing, and cannabis retail. The AGCO reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG).

Alberta Liquor LIcences


Liquor licences are regulated by the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC). Alberta has six classes of liquor licences.

British Columbia Liquor LIcences


The BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (BCLCRB) is the regulatory body that oversees liquor licensing in British Columbia. Liquor primary licences are for businesses wanting to offer liquor as their primary focus or as an additional service. Food primary licences are required for businesses where the primary focus is food.

MANITOBA

The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA) is responsible for licensing in Manitoba. Liquor licences available include Special Occasion Liquor Permits, which permits the sale or serving of liquor at a tone-time special occasion, such as a charity fundraiser or wedding reception.

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Liquor Licensing By Province

OntARIO LIQUOR LICENCES

Liquor licensing in Ontario is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).  Types of licences include liquor sales licences, for the sale of alcoholic beverages at bas, restaurants, lounges, and night clubs. Grocery store licences permit the sale of beer, wine and cider in grocery stores. Wine boutique licences permit the sale of wine in boutiques located within grocery stores. Ferment on-premises licences permit the sale of wine or beer made on premise for sale to customers for off-site consumption. Auction permits allow alcoholic beverages to be auctioned. Special occasion permits allow the service of alcoholic beverages during private, public liquor industry promo or tailgate events.

ALBERTA LIQUOR LICENCES

Liquor licences are regulated by the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC). Alberta has six classes of liquor licences. Within the Class A licence, there are requirements on the business if there are minors allowed or prohibited, along with manufacturer requirements for manufacturer taproom and manufacturer lounge Class A licences. Class B liquor licences are for liquor services when there is an entrance fee. This applies to sports stadiums, recreational facilities (such as bowling or billiards), convention centres, theatres, public conveyance, racetrack, and goods and services businesses (where the primary purpose of the business is not to sell food or liquor). Class C licences would be granted to private, non-profit facilities, such as clubs, canteens, institutions, or travellers’ lounge. Class D liquor licences are required for the sale of liquor that will be consumed at another location (such as selling it at a store for the customer to consume at a later location and time). This licence is required to operate a delivery service, sell sacramental wine, and sell liquor in retail locations. Class E liquor licences are for manufacturers. This includes estate manufacturers and blenders/packagers of liquor sourced from AGLC-approved liquor suppliers. Class F liquor licences are required to ferment beer, wine and cider on premises for a customer’s personal use and must not be packaged for commercial purposes. Other licence types include:

• Public special event licences

• Private special event licences

• Industrial use licences (storage and use of ethyl alcohol in manufacturing, sterilization, and preservation; or for the storage and use of beer, wine, and spirits in food preparation)

• Competition licences (transport, tasting and judging of homemade wine, cider or beer products)

• Hospitality licences

BRITISH COLUMBIA LIQUOR LICENCES

The BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (BCLCRB) is the regulatory body that oversees liquor licensing in British Columbia. Liquor primary licences are for businesses wanting to offer liquor as their primary focus or as an additional service. Food primary licences are required for businesses where the primary focus is food. Manufacturer licensing is required for businesses producing or manufacturing liquor, this includes beer, cider, wine, or spirits. Agent licences are for businesses that promote, market and take wholesale orders for liquor products. UBrew and UVin licences allow customers to ferment on-premises. Catering licences are for businesses that cater food and beverages. Non-profits wanting to auction liquor are required to have a liquor charitable auction permit. Special event hosts require a liquor special event permit. Ethyl alcohol purchase permits are required for mechanical or manufacturing businesses wanting to use ethyl alcohol. Rural communities and tourist destination resorts can use a Rural Licensee Retail Store to sell packaged liquor at general stores.

MANITOBA LIQUOR LICENCES

The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA) is responsible for licensing in Manitoba. Liquor licences available include Special Occasion Liquor Permits, which permits the sale or serving of liquor at a tone-time special occasion, such as a charity fundraiser or wedding reception. Service Licences are required for businesses that serve liquor to the public for on-site consumption. The Manitoba government has authorized the sale of liquor with delivery and takeout food orders by licensed businesses. Different licence types falling under Service Licences may be required depending on the type of business seeking licensure. Retail Licences are required to sell beer, wine or spirits for off-site consumption. Retail stores falling under this licence type include liquor stores (such as liquor marts, liquor vendors and duty-free stores), retail beer vendors (available to hotel operators, authorizing the sale of beers depending on various requirements such as hotel location and number of rooms), and specialty wine stores (currently, no licences available as all eight available licences are taken). A manufacturer Licence or Bew Pub Endorsement is required for businesses that manufacture beer, wine or spirits in Manitoba.

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR LIQUOR LICENCES

There are 18 liquor licence types available in Newfoundland and Labrador. Licensing is regulated by the Newfound and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC). Each class if liquor licence has its own eligibility requirements, along with its own terms and conditions outlined in the Liquor Control Act and Liquor Licensing Regulations. The licence types available are:

1. Airport Establishment liquor licence – Authorizes the sale, for consumption on licensed premises, to passengers of the airlines using the airport where the licensed premises is located, at all hours, on all days throughout the year. Allows the sale of spirits by the glass, wine and beer by the glass or from an opened bottle.

2. Bonded Warehouse liquor licence – Authorizes the storage of liquor on the licensed premises (duty and tax free), until exported or domestically consumed.

3. Brewer’s Agent liquor licence – Authorizes the sale of local brewery products (approved by the Newfoundland  and Labrador Liquor Corporation) in a convenience store.

4. Brewer’s Distributor liquor licence – Authorization of a person to sell beer approved by the NLC to the Corporation or to a person licensed by the Board. The authorized person must be recommended as a distributor by one or more brewers licensed under the Liquor Corporation Act.

5. Club liquor licence – Licensing is required for a non-profit corporation, society or association of persons organized or carried on for social, fraternal, or athletic natures, or as a military mess. This includes the premises occupied or used for these purposes.

6. Delivery Service liquor licence – Authorizes licensees or employees of licensees to deliver liquor to persons who purchase the liquor with a meal prepared by the licensed establishment.

7. Ferment-on-Premises (FOP) liquor licence – Authorizes the sale of equipment, ingredients, instruction and storage to individuals for making wine or beer for personal consumption.

8. Gift Basket liquor licence – This licence can be issued to the owner or operator of a small retail store (must be maintained, equipped and operated in accordance with the liquor board). Stores can include grocery stores, gift shops, florist shops, and other locations if approved by the board. Gift Basket liquor licences allow the preparation and sale of gift baskets containing alcoholic liquor, along with other products.

9. Hotel/Motel liquor licence – Allows the sale of liquor in hotels and motels.  Establishments under this licence must meet requirements found in the Liquor Licensing Regulations.

10. Institute liquor licence – Corporate bodies or organization instituted and organized for an educational, medical or similar purpose

11. Lounge liquor licence – Part of a licensed hotel or motel, or premises not part of a hotel or motel. Must have special accommodations, facilities or equipment in accordance with the Liquor Licensing Regulations.

12. Military Mess liquor licence – Canteens or institutes in a building or camp used for accommodation of active or reserve units of the Canadian Forces or NATO Forces. Also includes canteen or an institute in a building or camp used by the RCMP or Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

13. Recreational Facility liquor licence – Includes facilities (in the Board’s opinion) that are equipped, operated and maintained as an indoor stadium/arena, a golf club, ski resort, curling club, multi-purpose rec centre, tennis club, an arts & culture centre, outfitters’ facility, or another facility that, in the Board’s opinion, is a recreational facility. 

14. Restaurant liquor licence – Establishments that are exclusively engaged in the serving of meals to the public are required to have this licence to serve alcoholic beverages.

15. Restaurant/Lounge liquor licence – Authorizes the sale of spirits, wine and beer to guests at meals during the hours of 9:00 AM – 8:30 PM. Establishments with this licence type can also sell spirits, wine and beer to guests (not required to be at meals) during the hours of 9:00 PM – 2:00 AM.

16. Tour Boat Operation liquor licence – Authorizes the sale of liquor on seagoing vessels operating primarily for the recreation or education of the passengers and not for conveyance from place to place.

17. Tourist Home liquor licence – Required for buildings (private or public), which provides a number a bedrooms available for traveller accommodation. Food and lodging must be sold to guests to be eligible for this licence type.

18. Transportation Service liquor licence – Allows the sale of liquor for establishments providing a service functioning primarily for the conveyance of passengers by railway, ship or aircraft.

Manufacturer licence types include licences for breweries (to produce beer), distilleries (to produce spirits) and wineries (to produce wines). 

SASKATCHEWAN LIQUOR LICENCES

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is the regulatory body that oversees liquor licensing in Saskatchewan. Licence types include special occasion permits for, commercial liquor permits, alcohol import authorization, church supply company licensing, and homemade alcohol competition licensing.  

NEW BRUNSWICK LIQUOR LICENCES

The New Brunswick Justice and Public Safety office oversees liquor licensing in New Brunswick. Liquor licences are required by any person or businesses that want to sell liquor in a public place or wants to manufacture alcoholic beverages. There are 14 liquor licence types:

1. Lounge licence – Required for selling liquor in public places such as bars or pubs (to patrons 19 or older, unless accompanied by a parent).

2. Dining-room licence – Required for selling liquor in public places (bars, restaurants, pubs) that sell food. This licence permits patrons under the age of 19 to be on premises without a parent.

3. Wine serving licence – Required to serve wine supplied by a customer who is 19 or older. Licensees are only able to hold this licence exclusively.

4. Special facility licence – Required to sell liquor in a public place such as sporting, cultural or theatrical establishments, trade and convention centres, hotels/motels, excursion boats, airplanes, trains, and federal/provincial/municipal parks.

5. Club licence – Required to sell in a forces canteen or non-profit club.

6. Catering licence – Required by someone who holds another liquor licence and wishes to cater liquor with food outside of their licensed location.

7. Special events licence – Required for events that are shorter than or equal to 7 days where liquor will be served in public places such as festivals and community events. These licences for public events must be conducted without the intention of personal gain or profit.

8. Entertainment/exotic licence – Required for live entertainment within an existing liquor licensed establishment.

9. In-house brewery licence – Required for manufacturing beer and selling it in the licensed establishment. This licence can only be issued to someone who already has an existing dining-room, lounge or special facility licence.

10. Sacramental wine vendor – Required for persons who sell wine to the clergy.

11. Brewer’s licence – Required for manufacturers of beer for commercial purposes. This also required licensing through the Government of Canada.

12. Distiller’s licence – Required for manufacturers of spirits for commercial purposes.

13. Winery licence – Required for manufacturers of wine for commercial purposes.

14. Licence extensions – Can be issued for special events not adjacent to a licensed establishment, such as a dining room, lounge or special facility licensed establishment.

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES (NWT) LIQUOR LICENCES

Liquor licences in the Northwest Territories are regulated by the NWT Liquor Licensing Board, which acts as a regulatory and quasi-judicial administrative tribunal that operates independent from government. There are four classes of premises licences.


Class A (Liquor Primary Licence) – The required licence for establishments that primarily operate to sell and service liquor. Minors are not permitted on the premises except for special circumstances.
Class B (Food Primary Licence) – The required liquor licence for establishments that primarily operate to sell and service meals.
Class C (Mobile Licence) – Licence for catering services that operate at various locations, or on a ship providing tourism services. Minors are not permitted unless the Board approves the presence of minors.
Class D (Liquor Incidental Licence) – Canteens, bed and breakfast operators, remote lodges, facilities providing community, recreational, or cultural activities, or unlicensed tourist to hold a mini-bar extension are required to have this licence to sell or serve liquor.


There are also manufacturing licences, along with licence extensions to permit the sale or service of liquor under other circumstances.

NOVA SCOTIA LIQUOR LICENCES

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) is responsible for offering permits for retailing, warehousing, and manufacturing beverage alcohol. Manufacturer permits include:

• Brewery permits

• Distillery permits

• Farm Winery (Grape) Permits

• Non-Grape Farm Winery Permits (Cider/Mead)

• Winery Permit (Grape)

• Non-Grape Winery Permit

The NSLC also issue permits for selling and sampling products for onsite consumption within a designated area of a manufacturing facility (Manufacturer Hospitality Room Permit). Manufacturer Offsite Retail Store permits allow the sale of product for offsite consumption, along with being able to provide small samples to customers at events outside of the manufacturing facility. Liquor can only be sold at a retail capacity in NSLC agency stores, NSLC retail stores, private wine stores, or under a special occasion permit.

NUNAVUT LIQUOR LICENCES

The Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis (NLCB) regulates licencing in Nunavut. There are 11 classes of licence the Board can issue:

1. Aircraft/Ship Licence – Permits the sale of liquor to and consumption of liquor to passengers while in transit

2. Brew Pub Licence – Permits the sale and consumption at a brew pub of beer manufactured under the authority of the brewery permit

3. Canteen Licence – Permits the sale and consumption of liquor in military and quasi-military messes and in the canteen facilities of fire halls

4. Club Licence – Permits the sale of liquor for consumption by club members and guests

5. Cocktail Lounge Licence – Permits the sale and consumption of liquor

6. Cultural and Sports Facility Licence – Permits the sale and consumption of liquor in theatres and sports arenas

7. Dining Room Licence – Permits the sale and consumption of liquor in a public dining room

8. Guest Room Licence – Permits the sale of liquor by the licence holder for consumption by a registered guest of a tourist establishment

9. Off-Premises Licence – Permits the sale of beer in licensed premises for consumption off the premises

10. Private Recreational Facility Licence – Permits the sale of liquor for consumption by members and guests

11. Special Licence – Permits the sale and consumption of liquor or beer only to a commercial corporation operating in an isolated area

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (PEI) LIQUOR LICENCES

Liquor licensing in PEI is regulated by the PEI Liquor Control Commission (PEILCC). There are 8 licence types available.

1. Dining Room Licence – Authorized the sale of liquor purchased by the glass, and beer & wine purchased by glass or bottle with meals.

2. Lounge Licence – Only available to Dining Room Licence holders, authorizes the purchase of liquor from the PEILCC and sale of liquor purchased by the glass, and beer & wine purchased by the glass or bottle, with or without meals

3. Special Premise Licence – Attainable by premises that operate primarily for the advancement of recreational, sporting, cultural, or other community activities (must be economically viable without a liquor licence)

4. Club Licence – Must satisfy requirements of a club:

a. Clearly defined basis of membership and reasons for existence (other than selling alcoholic beverages)

b. Non-proprietary, non-profit (no personal profit of any member, officer or shareholder)

c. Acceptable constitution and bylaws

d. Body corporate

e. Has at least 20 members 

f. Definite purposes of a social, athletic, recreational, fraternal, benevolent, or patriotic nature

5. Military Canteen Licence – Can be issued to camps, armories, barracks of active or reserve units of the Canadian Forces, RCMP, and Branches of the Royal Canadian Legion

6. Tourist Home Licence – Permits the sale and service of liquor to guests of a tourist home (must be operating as an inn, bed and breakfast, guest home, or tourist home with at least 3 rooms rented to the public)

7. Caterer’s Licence – Only available to Dining Room, Special Premise, or Club Licence holders, and authorizes operation at locations without a liquor licence along with authorize the catering of events where meals are to be served alongside liquor

8. Package Sales Licence – Only available to Dining Room, Club, or Special Premise Licence holders. This licence authorizes the sale of unopened wine, spirits and beer to persons who have taken a full course meal on the premises

 

Yukon LIQUOR LICENCES

The Yukon Liquor Board (YLB) oversees licensing. Types of licences include Food Primary (restaurants or cafes), Liquor Primary (bar, pub, nightclub), Dual Licence (allows food primary to convert to liquor primary later in the day), and Mess Beer Licence (military canteens, mining or construction).

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