Article by Glen Korstrom, Vancouver Courier
Alcohol retailers remain eager to sell recreational cannabis despite the B.C. government’s decision to forbid retailers from selling cannabis alongside tobacco or alcohol in the same store once the federal government legalizes adult use of the drug later this year.
For private liquor store operators, that means either hiring construction crews to build walls and split stores into separate spaces or leasing new space.
“I’ll be able to carve off not a huge portion, but I think I could pull out 500 square feet from my 2,500-square-foot store in Burnaby and it will still leave me with a good-sized liquor store,” said Oliver Twist Liquor Store owner John Johnson.
He estimated that building a wall would cost him less than $10,000. Because his current Edmonds Street store has three entrances, he wouldn’t need to build a new entrance for his future cannabis store.
Johnson’s Langley liquor store is in the Willoughby Town Centre neighbourhood, where many young families are moving, so he expects that he will keep that store as is.
“The demographics of Langley and Burnaby are different,” he said. “I will have way more cannabis users in Burnaby around Edmonds than I will in the new subdivision area where my Langley store is.”
Other private liquor store owners, whose stores are not suited to being chopped in two, told Business in Vancouver that they remain interested in also retailing cannabis.