Government of B.C.

Before you start

With a non-medical cannabis retail store licence, you can sell non-medical cannabis products and cannabis accessories. Licensees can only sell federally approved cannabis products.

To apply, you

  • Must be at least 19 years old
  • Must be a standalone business, such as
  • Must not be a federally licensed producer of cannabis
  • Do not have to be a citizen or resident of B.C. or Canada

* You must apply for a separate licence for each store. A licensee can only hold or have valid interest in a maximum of eight non-medical cannabis retail store licences.

Local Government or Indigenous Nation recommendation

The relevant local government or Indigenous Nation must recommend that a licence be issued before the general manager may consider whether to issue a cannabis retail licence. The general manager will consider, but is not bound by, the recommendation.

The LCRB will contact the relevant local government or Indigenous Nation for their recommendation as part of the application process.

Learn more about the role of local governments and Indigenous Nations in cannabis retail licensing.

Overview

This application requires the following:

Fees

  • Application fee (includes security screening and financial integrity checks): $7,500
  • First-year licensing fee: $1,500
  • Annual renewal fee: $1,500
  • Security screening renewal fee

The application fee for a cannabis retail store licence is generally non-refundable.

However, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) may consider a refund if

  • An application was submitted in error, or
  • For exceptional circumstances beyond the applicant’s control

The LCRB will not refund an application fee if work on the applicant’s security screening has begun.

To request a refund, email a written request to LCRBCannabis@gov.bc.ca with reasons for the refund. The deputy general manager of licensing has the discretion to approve or deny the request.

Terms and conditions

Cannabis retail licensees must abide by the terms and conditions of their licence. For more information, read the Cannabis Retail Store Terms and Conditions Handbook (PDF, 319KB).

Apply

1

Check your local government or Indigenous Nation's requirements

Check requirements for the application and fees, including

  • Development permit
  • Business licensing
  • Zoning

Start early and understand the process. Depending on your local government or Indigenous Nation's requirements, this step can add processing time.

2

Review the location requirements

Learn about your location requirements, including:

  • Parcel identifier (PID)
  • Full street address
  • Property ownership or lease

The store must be a self-contained business.

Review the additional location requirements if your store is located in a shopping mall or has a shared vestibule.

3

Complete the Business Financial Integrity form

Complete the Business Financial Integrity form (PDF, 177 KB).

To complete the form, you will need

  • Names of shares and shareholders
  • Financial information
  • Tax information
  • Funding and debt information

4

Gather physical store details

Your application must include:

  • Floor plan
  • Site plan
  • Photos of store exterior
  • Proposed store name
  • Proposed signage
  • Storage

You are responsible for all matters related to the suitability of your store’s name and branding. The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) doesn’t consider or grant any intellectual property rights for:

  • Store name
  • Branding
  • Signage

The floor plan, site plan and photos of the exterior of the store must show that it meets the requirement for a self-contained cannabis store, a store in a shopping mall or a store that shares a vestibule with another business. Review the Cannabis Retail Store Terms and Conditions Handbook (PDF, 328 KB) and the document checklist for your business type for more information. 

The plans must be clear and legible, and in PDF format that is still legible when zoomed in.

Show 6 items
5

Gather required documents and business information

Depending on your business classification, you'll need to submit different documentation.

The business types include:

  • Private corporation
  • Public corporation
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Society or non-profit corporation
  • Indigenous nations

Show 6 items
6

Review and prepare required documents for associates

Both you and any associates will need to complete a Consent for Cannabis Security Screening Form. Applicants do this as part of the online application process in step 7.

This form requires:

  • Personal information
  • The application or "job" number from the LCRB
  • Address of proposed store
  • Current mailing address
  • The city, province/state, country and year for each place you resided outside of B.C. at any point in the last five years

Associates (directors, shareholders, partners, etc.) of applicants are required to submit documentation for security screenings and/or financial integrity checks.

Learn about the associate forms you must submit with your cannabis retail store licence.

7

Upload documents online and pay fees

Once you have gathered and prepared the necessary documents, log in to the Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Portal with your BCeID.

Once you submit, you will receive an application number from the LCRB.

Through the portal, you can invite your associates to complete and upload the necessary forms.

Submit documents online

8

Approval in principle is granted if

  • You meet the requirements outlined above
  • Your application is supported by your local government or Indigenous Nation
  • You paid the licence fee

Approval in principle indicates you are eligible to receive a licence if you pass a final inspection. Once approval in principle is granted, you may decide to

  • Buy, lease or finalize any alternative arrangements for the store location
  • Make renovations to ensure the store's layout and exterior matches the information in the description

Your next steps

Review physical security requirements

You must have

  • An audible intruder alarm system
  • An audible fire alarm
  • Locked retail product display cases
  • Locked cannabis storage room
  • Secure perimeter door locks
  • Security cameras with full unobstructed view of:
    • The retail sales area
    • Any product storage area
    • Both the interior and exterior of all store entrances/exits

More information can be found in the Cannabis Retail Store Terms and Conditions Handbook (PDF, 319KB).

Schedule and pass an inspection

After you have approval in principle, the LCRB must conduct an inspection before you can open to the public. The LCRB will conduct an inspection for all new cannabis retail store applicants before issuing a licence.

When you believe you are ready to open, contact the LCRB to schedule an inspection.

There cannot be any cannabis products in the store during this inspection.

During the inspection, the inspector will

  • Ensure floor plan and licensed area align with your application
  • Confirm the store's address
  • Signage meets requirements
  • Take pictures of the store
  • Review terms and conditions (PDF, 319KB) with you
  • Provide an overview of the inspection and compliance process

Complete all worker requirements

As a licensee, you must have your Selling It Right certification. Workers who sell or supervise the sale of non-medical cannabis must also complete the training course Selling It Right.

Local governments may have additional business licence requirements for workers.

Order cannabis products

All the cannabis sold in your store must be purchased from the Liquor Distribution Branch. You must be issued a licence before you can order cannabis.

  • To order cannabis products, register with the Liquor Distribution Branch. Visit the Liquor Distribution Branch website for more information.
  • You will need your licence number to place an order.

Agreements with federally-licensed cannabis producers

Licensees and their employees must not

  • Arrange to sell cannabis from one federally licensed producer to the exclusion of another.
  • Request or accept money, gifts, reward or remuneration for the promotion, inducement or further the sale of a particular brand of cannabis, such as preferential shelf space

Report your sales

Cannabis retail stores must submit monthly reports to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). The LCRB submits these reports to Health Canada for inclusion in the federal Cannabis Tracking System (CTS).

Reporting can be done through the Cannabis Licensing Portal. Learn more about your reporting requirements.

Contact

Contact our client support team.

In Victoria Phone:

In Canada Toll Free:

Cannabis licences: