The union representing B.C. liquor store workers, and B.C.’s private liquor store association have partnered to advocate for the sale of recreational pot through the province’s existing alcohol retail system.
The B.C. Government and Service Employees Union says there are legitimate concerns about marijuana being sold to youth, and B.C. liquor stores already have a strong track record of checking identification.
Also, once Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acts on his election promise to legalize and regulate pot, selling recreational pot through B.C. liquor stores would ensure sales are done responsibly and safely.
Damian Kettlewell is with the BC Private Liquor store Association,and he spoke with Jon McComb about the point of the partnership.
The partnership, called the Responsible Marijuana Retail Alliance of B.C., consists of employees from almost 700 private liquor stores and almost 200 government liquor stores across the province.
“We have a track record of selling this legal controlled substance, which is liquor, for a number of generations now in a retailing environment. And with the election of Justin Trudeau…it looks like we’re going to be having a new legal controlled substance coming on board, which is non-medical marijuana, and we want to offer our expertise and we believe we’ll be the most socially responsible retailer to do that.”
Kettlewell says that staff get a lot of training in selling a controlled substance. They all have Serving it Right certificates and are trained not to sell to people who are intoxicated.
“Selling of liquor is not like selling groceries, it’s very different. It is a controlled substance and we need to make sure that its retailed properly.”
In Washington state, they sell pot in stand-alone stores and also have a different liquor distribution model than B.C.
“In B.C. we have an excellent system for distributing and retailing alcohol and we believe that creating a new parallel system for marijuana would be incredibly costly, time consuming, and would divert money from social programs, education and addiction treatment, into additional bureaucracy. “
LISTEN to the entire interview here:
What’s behind this partnership?
Jon McComb and Mike Smith talked about what’s behind the move, how it may affect public sentiment,and what it could mean for medical marijuana dispensaries and the future of B.C. liquor stores.
LISTEN to Jon & Smitty’s Buds’n’Suds: