Dylyn Wilkinson, a member of the Cannabis Buyers Club, stands outside the shop as police are inside, holding a sign that says “V.C.B.C saved my life.” (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Dylyn Wilkinson, a member of the Cannabis Buyers Club, stands outside the shop as police are inside, holding a sign that says “V.C.B.C saved my life.” (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

UPDATED: Police raid 23-year-old cannabis compassion club in Victoria

Public can expect to see more enforcement from the community safety unit

At about 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Victoria police and the Community Safety Unit raided the Cannabis Buyers Club’s Johnson Street location.

People inside were asked to identify themselves as employees or leave the premises, and employees were directed to cease selling any products.

A group of supporters was outside the location rallying support and carrying signs. Police remained on scene into the afternoon.

The Cannabis Buyers Club, located at 826 Johnson St., has been open for 23 years, and at its current location since 2001. Within the establishment is a smoking room, where members of the club can smoke or vape cannabis in a private setting.

In order to purchase medicinal cannabis at the establishment, proof of condition from a medical practitioner is required. High concentrate products are also sold at the location but the selling of them has not been legalized by the government.

Dylyn Wilkinson, who prefers the xe/xem pronouns, stood outside the shop as police raided the inside holding a sign. Wilkinson suffers from PTSD and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disorder that affects connective tissues supporting the skin, bones and many other organs and tissues, and credits the medicinal cannabis for saving xers life.

READ ALSO: Popular unlicensed Victoria cannabis dispensary shut down by province

“The medicine I’ve been able to access here has been the main thing for me being alive for the last five or six years,” Wilkinson said. “The hoops you have to jump through to get acknowledgement for conditions that aren’t visibly disabling and aren’t well-known makes it difficult to get support and a lot of time the pharmaceutical options for treatment make you unable to do anything else.”

Wilkinson said the medicinal cannabis xe receives from the Cannabis Buyer’s Club, as well as the community the club has formed, has helped xem in moments of panic.

Dylan Nickerson, community liaison and employee of the Cannabis Buyer’s Club, said they’re not going to let the raid stop them from doing business.

“We’ll open up again with new product and continue to serve the people who need it the most,” Nickerson said. “We have members right now that are dying and we are not going to cut their source of medicine off … especially products that cannot and will not be made available through the government.”

A statement from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General confirmed community safety unit officers were active at multiple locations in Victoria this week but said the Ministry cannot provide comment on specific complaints or enforcement actions.

According to the statement, community safety unit officers have visited about 200 unlicensed retailers to date to educate and raise awareness about cannabis laws. Officers also shared information on how to obtain a non-medical cannabis retail license. In all cases, “significant” amounts of cannabis in different forms have been seized.

READ ALSO: Police raid Leaf Compassion dispensary on the Island

The province is responsible for regulating the sales of non-medical cannabis, while the federal government regulates medical cannabis. Storefront sales of medical cannabis are not permitted by the federal government but authorized medical users can have cannabis shipped from a Health Canada licensed producer.

They can also register with Health Canada to produce a limited amount of cannabis or designate someone else to produce cannabis on their behalf for medical purposes.

The Ministry said the public can expect to see increasing enforcement activity.

“Our goal from the start has been voluntary compliance, however, those who continue to operate illegally should be warned that if they do not obtain a provincial licence they will have to close or will face increased enforcement action from the CSU,” the statement said.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

UPDATED: Police raid 23-year-old cannabis compassion club in Victoria

A public notice of seizure hangs on the window of the Cannabis Buyer’s Club on Johnson Street. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

A public notice of seizure hangs on the window of the Cannabis Buyer’s Club on Johnson Street. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Police officers stand outside the Cannabis Buyer’s Club on Johnson Street during a raid. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Police officers stand outside the Cannabis Buyer’s Club on Johnson Street during a raid. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

People stand with signs outside of the Cannabis Buyer’s Club Johnson Street location while police conduct a raid. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

People stand with signs outside of the Cannabis Buyer’s Club Johnson Street location while police conduct a raid. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Just Posted

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

The O’Meara family – (left to right) Mari, Max, Adam and Rei – spent Saturday afternoon picking out the perfect tree. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Santa’s Forest tree sale in Saanich implements one-way perusing, curbside pick up

Christmas tree, wreath sales in Braefoot Park through Dec. 24

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

(Black Press Media file)
Webinars help Greater Victoria residents affected by dementia prepare for the holidays

COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions can add additional challenges for people living with dementia

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read