BC Serving It Right Course Re-ImaginedFebruary 13, 2020
Amendment to BC Cannabis License Disclosure PoliciesMarch 18, 2020
If you want to market cannabis products to private non-medical cannabis retailers or BC Cannabis Stores, you’ll need a cannabis marketing license. Cannabis marketing licenses are used by “agents” of cannabis producers.
A marketing license allows agents to promote the products of licensed federal cannabis producers to BC non-medical retail cannabis stores and adults over the age of 19.
Cannabis marketing licenses are overseen by the BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). You can find further detailed information about cannabis licenses and cannabis license applications at the BC government’s Cannabis Licensing website.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be 19 years of age or older
- Have a registered BC business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, Indegenous nation or extraprovincial company).
- Register your business with the BC OneStop Business Registry and have a BCeID.
Applicants do not have to reside in BC or Canada or be a BC or Canadian citizen. BC non-medical cannabis store licensees and applicants are not eligible to apply for a BCcannabis marketing license.
Cannabis Marketing Licensee Responsibilities
Cannabis marketing licensees and their employees must comply with:
- Federal and provincial laws and regulations
- Terms printed on the license or described in letters received from the General Manager of Cannabis Control and Licensing Act
- Terms and conditions as summarized in the “Marketing Terms and Conditions handbook”.
Cannabis marketing licensees may hire employees to act as cannabis marketing representatives. It’s the licensee’s responsibility to ensure their employees comply with all applicable laws, and the license terms and conditions.
A licensee’s employees don’t have to apply for a separate marketing license, nor are they required to obtain security clearance, however, the marketing license number must be printed on employee identification, which must be provided by the licensee.
Licensees must also have letters of authorization from licensed federal cannabis producers they represent.
Permissible Cannabis Marketing Activities
A licensee can conduct market research in a space closed to the general public (e.g. office, meeting room, hotel), if:
- All survey participants are at least 19 years of age. The cannabis marketing licensee must ensure that survey participants are of legal age.
- The marketing licensee does not display branding or advertising at the site of research or promote the products of a producer they represent.
- A cannabis marketing licensee may invite other marketing licensees and retail cannabis store licensees to promotional events that improve attendee’s knowledge of products the licensee represents.
- At the time of this writing, a marketing licensee may pay up to $1500 per year for the travel, food, accommodations and entertainment expenses incurred by non-medical cannabis store licensees who attend the licensee’s promotional event. If a non-medical cannabis store licensee has more than 1 store license, the marketing licensee may pay up to $1500 per person to a maximum of $4500 per year.
Cannabis marketing licensees may not:
- Be a non-medical retail cannabis store licensee
- Provide cannabis samples to any person
- Provide benefits or other inducements to non-medical cannabis store licensees for carrying the products the marketing licensee represents
- Sell value-added promotional items (items that are given away for free to induce the purchase of a cannabis product).
- Provide vouchers, discounts or coupons that may be redeemed for cannabis products
A cannabis marketing license must be renewed each year and when the licensee makes changes to the information they provided when they applied. Some changes require prior approval from the LCRB, while others must be reported within 10 days of the change being made. Consult the handbook for more information.
Get the Most Out of Your Cannabis Marketing License
The Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors team of cannabis license consultants help federally licensed cannabis producers and cannabis marketing agents get the most of their respective cannabis licenses. We roll up our sleeves and do the hard work for you. If you’re wondering how best to promote your product within BC’s strict government guidelines, we can help you craft easy-to-implement, effective retail cannabis marketing strategies.