Liquor & Cannabis Licensing

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) regulates British Columbia's liquor and recreational cannabis retail licenses. As part of the provincial application process certain types of licenses require the input of the local government. This input must be in the form of an official Council resolution passed by Smithers Council.

The Town’s Liquor & Cannabis Licensing Policy DEV-008 establishes the process and procedure for the Town to follow when responding to provincial license referrals. Prospective applicants should review this policy along with local zoning and business license regulations.

How do I Apply for a Local Government Resolution?
Applicants must submit a completed Liquor & Cannabis Licensing Application for Local Government Resolution to the Town along with the required fee and supporting information. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. There are three (3) different types of applications and fees:

  • New Licenses (Liquor Primary / Liquor Primary Club / Cannabis Retail License) - $900 fee
  • License Amendments (Liquor Primary / Club, Manufacturer, Food Primary, Cannabis Retail) - $400 fee
  • Temporary (Event) Liquor License Amendment - $300 fee

What Happens Next?

The planner reviews your application and will contact you if there are any further requirements that need to be addressed. If there are no further requirements, the application is reviewed internally and referred to the RCMP for comment. Cannabis retail licenses are also referred to School District 54.

Public Notice
Public notice regarding the application is sent out by the Town 10 days prior to the date that the application is to be considered by Smithers Council. Notice letters are sent to owners and residents within 60-metres of the subject property advising of the application as well as newspaper ads placed in the local newspaper.

Council receives the application and staff report at the next available Council meeting. Prior to issuing the resolution, Council will receive written or verbal submissions from the public regarding the application. It is recommended that you or your agent be present at this hearing to answer any questions. Following this, Council will support or not support the application in the form of a Council resolution.

What Does the Resolution Include?
The LCRB requires the Council resolution to include specific information for different types of applications. For example, information related to location, venue capacity, hours of service, noise and community impact (if approved), views of residents / description of how they were gathered and Council’s recommendation (support or not support).

Further information regarding the Town’s role in provincial license approvals can be found in the
Liquor Licensing & Policy Guides for Local Governments & First Nations.

How Long does the Application Process Take?
The average processing time to obtain a Local Government Resolution is 5-6 weeks (subject to Council meeting schedule), provided that all necessary application information is provided to the Town and there are no complications. Complex applications or applications associated with rezoning, may require a longer review process.
Note that in accordance with Section 71 of the Liquor Control & Licensing Regulation, once a Liquor License application is received, the Town of Smithers will sign the applicant’s LCRB application that initiates a 90-day time frame to gather public input.