One of Canada's oldest medical cannabis dispensaries just got raided. And people are not happy

Twitter icon

Members of the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club are banding together in protest as a result of club’s Thursday raid — and subsequent shut-down — by B.C.’s Community Safety Unit.

The non-profit compassion club, which was founded nearly 25 years ago, has operated an unlicensed dispensary in Victoria for the past 18 years to provide affordable medical cannabis to patients in need.

Buyers Club president and founder, Ted Smith says that authorities seized most of the product in the store and ordered it to be shut down. Although many were surprised by the search and seizure, Smith told CBC’s All Points West that he was not.

“Getting raided was no surprise because we’re not going to comply with the law if it’s not in the best interests of our patients,” Smith explained.

“We obviously don’t want to be considered criminals. We want to be part of the legal system and make things work for people. But at this point, you know, we have a lot of cancer patients and arthritis patients and other seriously ill people that rely on our medicines.”

Smith also said that the dispensary had considered applying for a retail licence, and had gone so far as to save up the necessary cash to do so. However, the rules surrounding licensed pot shops were not all favourable to the Club and its members — such as a prohibition on onsite consumption and the freedom to grant product discounts to patients with cancer.

Club member Angela Weeks lamented the raid and contemplated how to access the medication upon which she relies. “I’m heartbroken. They’re taking the medicine we need,” Weeks told CBC.

A protest is scheduled at the Victoria Legislative Building at noon today in response to the raid.

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Regional Marijuana News: