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West Kelowna liquor store handed $7K fine for selling to a minor

A West Kelowna liquor store has been handed a hefty fine for getting caught selling to a minor in an undercover compliance check from the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

The allegation from the regulation branch is that the licensee, Grey Sage Liquor Store, sold a six pack of cider to a minor at their store at 2961 Gorman Rd.

According to the decision posted on Feb. 16, an inspector was working with a youth under the Minors as Agents Program (MAP).

The incident happened shortly before 8:30 pm on Sept. 26, 2023.

The minor agent walked into the store, picked up a six pack of Okanagan Cider & Beverage Co. Black Cherry Cider and paid with a $20 bill.

“At no time during the sales transaction did the Sales Clerk request any identification from the Minor Agent to confirm the age of the Minor agent,” the decision says.

The minor left the store and returned to the government vehicle in the parking lot while the lead inspector entered and notified the sales clerk of the contravention.

Normally, licenses will use the defence of due diligence.

However, the licensee did not submit any of their own evidence or any steps taken by it to prevent the sale of liquor to minors.

They also did not provide evidence of any procedures or systems in place to avoid selling to people under the age of 19.

“The Branch submits the contravention has been proven and the defence of due diligence has not been satisfied,” the decision says.

“Based on the unchallenged evidence submitted to me, which is set out above, I find the contravention of selling liquor to a minor as alleged has been proven.”

The liquor store owner was handed a $7,000 fine which must be paid by Mar. 16, 2024.

Last week a Kelowna cidery and downtown cannabis store were both handed similar fines for selling alcohol to minors.

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