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Because cannabis marketing licenses are fairly new (legalization was just a few years ago), there’s still some confusion around how licensed producers may legally market their products to BC non-medical cannabis licensees. Our Cannabis consultants at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors frequently explain to licensed producers that their federal license alone doesn’t permit them to market their products.
While federal cannabis licenses (standard cultivation, micro-cultivation, nursery, standard processing, and micro-processing) allow a business to legally grow or manufacture cannabis products for sale to authorized provincial distributors, the producer must apply for a marketing license in each province they wish to promote their products. In BC, that license is known as a “cannabis marketing license”. Other provinces may use different terms to describe a similar marketing license. In Alberta, for example, to market cannabis you must apply to become a “Registered Cannabis Representative”.
Licensed producers who have a cannabis marketing license usually hire marketing representatives who work on the producer’s behalf.
Cannabis Marketing License Terms
Cannabis marketing license
A license to market non-medical cannabis products to retail cannabis stores in BC. Producers apply for the license at the BCLCRB.
BCLCRB or LCRB
British Columbia Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch.
BCLDB or LDB
BC Liquor Distribution Branch
Licensed producer, LP
A federally licensed cannabis producer. Read more about federal cannabis licenses at Health Canada.
Marketing representative, agent
A marketing representative authorized by a licensed producer to promote their cannabis products under the LP’s cannabis marketing license.
Retail cannabis store, cannabis store
A BC non-medical cannabis licensee.
Selling It Right, SIR
BC’s mandatory self-study course that provides non-medical cannabis licensees, their employees, and agents, education about relevant laws and responsible retail cannabis sales.
BC Cannabis Marketing License Application Steps
To apply for a BC cannabis marketing license, follow these steps:
- Determine whether you are eligible to apply for the license. You must be at least 19 years old, a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, society, Indigenous nation or extraprovincial company registered in BC (see step 3 and 4 below).
- Register Your Business at the BC One Stop Registry – a portal that allows registered businesses to access federal and provincial government services/license applications in one place.
- Apply for a Business BCeID – an electronic ID that authenticates your business across various BC government services.
- Once you’ve created a One Stop Registry account and applied for a BCeID, you can log into the Liquor & Cannabis Licensing portal and complete and submit a cannabis marketing license application.
Indigenous nations can apply for a cannabis marketing license as sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or extraprovincial company, but are not required to do so. If you’re applying as an Indigenous nation and not a business, contact LCRBCannabis@gov.bc.ca.
Selling It Right
SIR is a mandatory self-study course providing licensees and their employees education about laws and responsible cannabis sales.
According to the BC Cannabis Marketing Terms and Conditions handbook (PDF), Selling It Right is mandatory for:
- The marketing licensee, if the licensee is an individual (sole proprietor).
- Employees who promote or supervise the promotion of non-medical cannabis.
- Agents of a marketing licensee, who promote or supervise employees who promote licensed producers’ products.
Need Help Applying for a BC Cannabis License?
With Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors, It’s Easier than You Think
Whether you need to apply for a cannabis marketing license or non-medical retail cannabis license, Thrive makes it easy. Our business is all about understanding the steps, requirements, fine print, and dos and don’ts of liquor and cannabis license applications and compliance. By working with a Thrive cannabis consultant, you greatly increase the likelihood of approval of your license application, and save time, money and headaches. Our consultants help liquor and cannabis businesses get started and achieve success. Chat with us and find out how.