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Sask. government planning to expand third party liquor warehousing

The Saskatchewan government is looking to expand third-party liquor warehousing options for specialty products.
The Saskatchewan government is looking to expand third-party liquor warehousing options for specialty products. Rick Bowmer/The Canadian Press

The Saskatchewan government is looking to open up the liquor warehousing market to allow private businesses to distribute specialty products.

“We already use Saskatchewan-based third party warehouses to distribute beer and coolers to retailers but have been sourcing many specialty products from warehouses outside the province,” Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming (SLGA) Minister Gene Makowsky said in a statement.

“This change will allow such warehouses to set up in Saskatchewan to distribute a broad range of specialty beer, wine and spirits.”

READ MORE: New retail liquor store allocations in Saskatchewan to be population-based

Makowsky introduced a new amendment to the Alcohol and Gaming Regulations Act on Wednesday to expand third party liquor warehousing and distribution. The SLGA is the main alcohol distributor in the province.

According to the province, specialty liquor products make up around five per cent of total alcohol sales. These are usually ordered in smaller quantities and a more irregular basis than beer, wine and spirits.

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When liquor stores want to stock specialty products, the SLGA orders them from out of province and supplies the booze to retailers through the SLGA Distribution Centre.

The province’s goal with this change is to allow the SLGA to focus on distributing “popular, high volume wines and spirits.” Makowsky added that this will make it easier for niche products to reach consumers.

All regular SLGA markups will still be collected by the Crown, no matter who distributes the liquor according to the government press release.