Grocery Stores: Owners/Operators

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) which together with its regulations and the standards and requirements established by the Registrar, establish the licensing and regulatory regime for most aspects relating to the sale and service of liquor in Ontario.

Among its regulatory activities in the liquor sector, the AGCO is responsible for licensing eligible grocers to sell beer and wine or beer and cider, and ensuring that these products are sold responsibly and in accordance with the law. To be eligible for a beer and wine grocery store licence or beer and cider grocery store licence with the AGCO, the grocery store operator must have a wholesale supply agreement with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

As set out in the regulation, there is a limit on the number of beer and cider grocery store licences and beer and wine grocery store licences that may be in effect at one time.

Please note that the AGCO is not accepting any new applications for beer and wine grocery store licences or beer and cider grocery store licences at this time.

This portal is intended for those grocery store operators who are already licensed to sell beer and wine or beer in cider in a grocery store in Ontario.

Use the resources below to help you apply for a transfer or relocation of a licence or to better understand your obligations under Ontario’s regulatory framework for liquor sales in grocery stores.

Introduction

This guide provides information about the following classes of licences to operate a retail store for the sale of beer and cider or beer and wine in grocery stores (“Licences”) from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO):

  1. Beer and Cider Grocery Store Licence: Permits the sale and sampling of beer and cider but not other types of wine in a grocery store by the operator of the store.
  2. Beer and Wine Grocery Store Licence: Permits the sale and sampling of beer and wine (including cider) in a grocery store by the operator of the store.

Grocery store operators that have a wine boutique in their grocery store must also hold a Wine Boutique Sales Agent endorsement on their Beer and Cider Grocery Store Licence.

This guide also provides information on your general responsibilities and obligations as a beer and cider or beer and wine grocery store licensee. Please note that this guide does not replace the legislation. Please consult the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA), the regulations and standards and requirements established by the Registrar to ensure that you understand all of the responsibilities and obligations that come with a Beer and Cider or Beer and Wine Grocery Store Licence. You may also wish to consult with a legal advisor.

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