A small crowd gathered at the legislature on Thursday afternoon to voice frustration with a recent raid on the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club (VCBC).
On July 15 around 10:30 a.m., Victoria Police Department escorted members of the community safety unit into the club on Johnson Street where product was seized.
Ted Smith, founder of the club, says he has been engaged with all levels of government trying to get an exemption from various medical cannabis regulations after a first raid last November 2019.
Victoria council expressed its support for the VCBC after the first raid. In January, council unanimously approved a motion requesting Mayor Lisa Helps write a letter to the province asking for an exemption for the VCBC to “continue to provide responsible access and a safe, welcoming community space for medical cannabis users.”
The VCBC has been operating since 1996 and requires members to provide proof of a medical condition before they’re able to purchase products. Nikki Jackson, who works as the club’s social media officer, credits the VCBC for saving her life after she was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
Following Wednesday’s raid, supporters gathered at Carol James’, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier, office to express their anger. The club plans to reopen following Thursday’s rally at the legislature at around 4:20 p.m.
Under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, the CSU has “authority for compliance and enforcement with respect to sales by unlicensed retailers,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
According to the ministry, CSU officers are actively following up with unlicensed retailers in communities across the province and have been increasing enforcement action.