Members of the Victoria Police Department and the Community Safety Unit were at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club for a second time on July 15. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Product seized from a Victoria cannabis compassion club for a second time

The Cannabis Buyers Club has been operating on Johnson Street since 2001

Product has been seized from a Victoria cannabis compassion club for the second time since November.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15, members of the Victoria Police Department arrived at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, escorting the Community Safety Unit (CSU). Employees were given the option to leave when police arrived.

Located at 826 Johnson St., the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club has been operating at its current location since 2001 and has been open since 1996. What differentiates the club from other dispensaries in Greater Victoria is the fact that members need to provide proof of a medical condition before they’re able to purchase products.

Ted Smith, founder of the club, said this fight with the province is over the quality and price of products.

“The legal system has such poor quality products at such high prices that our members would not be able to switch over to that without putting their health at risk and literally suffering for that,” he said on Wednesday outside the shop.

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

Since the first raid, the Cannabis Buyers Club has received a couple of correspondence from the government, which Smith called “friendly,” adding Wednesday’s raid came as a surprise.

“They’ve caught us off guard this time, I believe they’ve gotten a lot more medicine than they did in the past raid and it’s going to really hurt our club but more importantly it’s going to really hurt our patients,” said Smith.

Nikki Jackson, an employee, credits the club for saving her life after she was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

“I was dying of malnutrition when I was 19, literally on my death bed. I was on 15 different pharmaceuticals and I replaced it all with capsules from this club,” she said.

A rally to protest the raid will be held on Thursday at noon at the Legislature with the club planning to reopen 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.

A person who has had their cannabis seized can apply to the director of the CSU for the return of the cannabis or for compensation when the cannabis has been destroyed within 30 days of the seizure. In determining whether the cannabis should be returned or compensation provided, the director must be satisfied that the cannabis was not obtained in contravention to the regulations.

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


 

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Members and supporters of the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club stand outside the Johnson Street location with signs while police are inside. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

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