Wine in grocery stores? No thanks, say small B.C. wineries

Kelowna and Okanagan Lake
Kelowna and Okanagan Lake

Plus, Canada’s pot-busting capital and where to put Kinder Morgan’s pipeline

Bottle talk
Three Kelowna grocery stores are applying for a business licence to sell VQA wines, prompting a group representing a coalition of wineries to call for a moratorium on issuing licences to more grocery stores. The B.C. Alliance for Smart Liquor Retail Choice is afraid selling wine in grocery stores could kill small and medium wineries as well as private liquor stores, which could not compete on price point. (via Castanet

Still, as of Wednesday, there is another way to buy direct from B.C. winemakers. Whitefish Group, which owns Icon Fine Wines and is a major shareholder in SPUD, is partnering with Vancouver’s New District online craft marketplace. New District allows wine lovers to buy any number of bottles from any number of wineries all in one order to be delivered within 48 hours.

Pot shots
Speaking of Kelowna, the city is smoking, but not necessarily in a good way. It had the highest per capita rate of marijuana possession charges in 2014, according to a CBC analysis of Statistics Canada data for 34 Canadian cities. There were 251 charges per 100,000 people in Kelowna, compared to the Canadian average of 79. St. John’s, Newfoundland, was at the bottom of the list with 11 charges per 100,000. CBC found that marijuana incidents and charges have risen about 30 per cent since the tough-on-crime Harper government took office in 2006. The Kelowna RCMP says it focuses on high-profile offenders, not recreational smokers, an approach that is lowering the city’s crime rate.  

Changes in the pipeline?
If you can’t go through, go around. On Wednesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told Bloomberg LIVE’s Canadian fixed income conference in New York that Kinder Morgan may need to stop trying to push its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion through Burnaby and shift to a different B.C. port. She suggests south of Vancouver near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal and the U.S. border. Stay tuned for how that flies. (via Bloomberg)