Alcohol on the shelves in Ontario corner stores by October 31, 2024

Ontario will allow sales of low-alcohol beverages at corner stores, convenience stores and gas stations from September 4 followed by supermarkets on October 31. The process for applying for a licence will open on June 17. 

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Soon, you will be able to buy beer, wine, and ready-made cocktails from your favourite Ontario convenience store. Province is reducing The Beer Store’s quasi-monopoly, which was protected by a Master Framework Agreement (MFA) and set to expire in 2025. Low-alcohol beverages are coming to retailers 16 months earlier and as a result, Ontario will pay up to $225 million to The Beer Store to cover costs associated with the accelerated timeline.

Key Dates:

  • June 17, 2024: Application process opens for retailers to obtain licenses from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
  • August 1, 2024: Existing licensed grocery stores can start selling ready-to-drink cocktails.
  • September 4, 2024: Corner stores, convenience stores, and gas stations can start selling beer, wine, and ready-made cocktails.
  • October 31, 2024: All supermarkets and grocers can start selling beer, wine, cider, and canned spirit drinks.

The Beer Store will continue as the primary wholesale distributor and recycling program operator until 2031, and The LCBO will remain the sole retailer of high-alcohol spirits and the only wholesale seller of alcohol, with a temporary 10% wholesale discount for new retailers until 2026.

Province expects approximately 8,500 new locations to sell low-alcohol beverages, making Ontario the third-highest in alcohol retail density in Canada, which raises public health concerns about increased alcohol accessibility. Issues caused by higher consumption of alcohol and related harms can cost Ontario over $7 billion annually. The Government is set to fund an additional $10 million over five years to support social responsibility initiatives related to alcohol consumption.


Maria Rostecka picture
Maria Rostecka

Maria Rostecka, Content Specialist, The Onside Media, Canada
Based in Toronto, Ontario. Hi! I’m Maria Rostecka, a Content Specialist at The Onside Media, Canada, with a focus on arts and entertainment, business, tech and culinary. If you have a compelling story to share, don’t hesitate to reach out at maria.rostecka@theonside.com.

SOURCEOntario

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