On July 15, 2020, the Community Safety Unit (CSU) raided the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club (VCBC), seizing the Cannabis medicine it’s members depend on. Tasked with enforcing the BC Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, The CSU raided the VCBC last November. Despite the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic and cannabis has been deemed to be an essential service, the Province, once again, tried to shut the VCBC down. In almost 25 years of operations, this will be their 7th raid.
Who are The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club?
Founded in 1996, the VCBC is the oldest, nonprofit Compassion Club in Canada. In order to become a member and purchase, you need to first provide medical documentation, proving you have an incurable condition. After that, they have access to a wealth of information and, high-quality medicine at extremely low prices.
For example, a 45mg THC cookie costs $2.50 each and for most people, one cookie can provide enough medicine to last a day or two. All cookies there are made with farm fresh eggs, certified organic ingredients, and without any bleached flour or sugar. For those looking to ease insomnia symptoms or get help with sleep, taking one Ryanol capsule will often do the trick. These capsules cost $0.30 each or you can get a bottle of 20 for $5.25.
Why are they going after places like VCBC?
The recent raid on July 15th, 2020, does not make any sense at all. Heavy-handed and unnecessary, the goal of the raid was to close the place permanently. The question is why? That is still uncertain but here is what we do know:
Considering how cheap the prices are and the fact that VCBC supplies sick people only, no recreational profits are being touched.
This is a gross misuse of tax dollars at a time when that money is critical. Supporting Canadians through this pandemic is putting the Province and country into significant debt. On top of that, The government recognized cannabis to be essential for Canadians and this crisis is not over.
There are products that have been left out of current cannabis regulations because they don’t apply to the recreational market. Now, the problem is that these items can’t be found anywhere. For the medical patients whose lives depend on them, this is catastrophic and the only place to go is the grey market.
How to help
Regardless of the social consequences, every officer will tell you that they’re doing their job; the VCBC staff will also tell you the same. Enough is enough. Compassion clubs like the VCBC are risking themselves to support the sick. They need to be protected. That begs the question, what can the average person do to help their dispensary stay open?
Complain to the head of The Community Safety Unit, Mike Farnworth
If you are able, go to a protest. The more people who show up, the stronger the message.
If you can’t physically be at a protest, support it by sharing the information on your social media. Networking is a powerful tool and politicians care about losing voters. The more attention an issue gets, the harder it becomes for the lawmakers to ignore.
As our Federal and Provincial governments continue to hemorrhage money, tax dollars were wasted trying to shut down the VCBC. The Province could recognize that organizations such as VCBC are filling in a social gap and that going after them is putting people at risk. Under the circumstances we are in, BC needs to back off and wait for medical regulations. Anything else is risking human life. As for the VCBC, they re-opened their doors the next day, promptly at 4:20PM.