Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club files lawsuit, injunction against B.C. government following raids

Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club files lawsuit, injunction against B.C. government following raids

Joined by his lawyer and supports, Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club founder Ted Smith arrived at the Victoria Law Courts Tuesday afternoon armed with a lawsuit and injunction to be filed against the provincial government.

“We wish we weren’t here, we wish the provincial government was acting in a fair, responsible way toward our medical compassion club,” Smith said.

The non-profit club has been raided three times since legalization in 2018, most recently in March. Authorities seized tens of thousands of dollars worth of product and cash and left the club with a hefty $6 million in fines.

Supporters of the VCBC rally outside Victoria Courthouse Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

Now, the club is filing a lawsuit and injunction to stop the province’s Community Safety Unit from raiding the club and to ensure all Canadian patients have access to the medical cannabis they need in whatever form and strength they need it in.

“Many of these people are unhoused many of these people are living on social assistance many of these people are disabilities they are suffering citizens of this country and they’re being undeserved by the federal government scheme,” said lawyer Kirk Tousaw.

Smith say the provincial and federal governments shouldn’t just allow the compassion club to operate, in the midst of the toxic drug crisis they should encourage it.

“They should be embracing the cannabis plant, this plant has so much to offer especially in regards to pain management and avoiding opioid drugs, getting off opioid drugs that our government should be prioritizing our club and it’s mandate and duplicating that across the province,” he said.

While cannabis law is federal, Tousaw says the provincial safety unit could use its discretion and choose not to raid a non-profit club he argues has the support of the city and the community. The province has not yet provided a response.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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