Submit a Complaint to the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch
The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (the branch) may investigate complaints from the public or industry about matters related to the regulation of liquor and non-medical cannabis in the province of British Columbia. Unless a complaint relates to an immediate public safety concern, all complaints must be submitted in writing to the branch.
- In the case of a complaint against a licensed liquor establishment or event held under a special event permit, use the Complaint Related to an Establishment or Event form (LCRB127)
- In the case of a complaint against a licensed non-medical cannabis retail store, use the Complaint Related to a Non-medical Cannabis Retail Store form (LCRB131)
Please submit your completed form to LCRBcomplaints@gov.bc.ca.
Liquor: The branch only has jurisdiction to take enforcement action at liquor establishments or special events that have a licence or special event permit issued under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act. If your complaint is in regards to a business or individual that does not have a liquor licence or special event permit, please contact your local police department.
Cannabis: The branch only has jurisdiction to take enforcement action at non-medical cannabis retail stores that have a licence issued under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. If your complaint is in regards to an unlicensed cannabis dispensary that does not have a retail store licence from the Province, please address your complaint to the Director, Community Safety Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a complaint regarding a BC government liquor or cannabis store, please contact the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.
Investigating a Complaint
Within 30 days of receiving a complaint, the branch will send a letter to you acknowledging receipt of the complaint and indicating whether the complaint has been accepted for investigation.
The branch may decide not to investigate a complaint if any of the following apply:
- more than six months has elapsed between the date the complainant knew the facts on which the complaint is based and the date the branch received the complaint
- there is a remedy available in law (the complaint is outside the branch’s mandate under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act or the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act) that is adequate for the complainant and there is no reasonable justification for the complainant’s failure to take advantage of the remedy
- the complaint is deemed to be frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith
- further investigation is not necessary in order to consider the complaint
- the complaint has already been investigated; or
- the complainant did not provide sufficient information or evidence to substantiate the complaint and warrant an investigation
Please note, according to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the branch is unable to comment on the findings or actions in the investigation of a complaint.
Requesting review of a decision not to investigate
Within 30 days after you receive notification from the branch that your complaint has not been accepted for investigation, you may request, by written submission, that the branch review the decision not to investigate. You must be able to demonstrate in your written submission that:
- the nature of the complaint was misunderstood; or
- that further information, not available at the time the complaint was first considered, is now available
The branch will advise you whether the complaint will be investigated within 30 days after receipt of the written request. If you are not satisfied with the result of a complaint submitted to the branch, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsperson.