Victoria dispensary reopens 1 day after government raid
VICTORIA – The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club reopened its doors Friday afternoon after being shut down in a government raid just one day before.
On Thursday, the province's community safety unit (CSU), which enforces the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, ordered the unlicensed dispensary to close and confiscated a range of inventory from the shop at approximately 10:45 a.m.
Following the closure, many store supporters remained at the business to protest the shutdown.
Despite the notice of closure, the self-described compassion club opened its store at 3 p.m. Friday for its clients. On Thursday, a volunteer with the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club told CTV News that the store focused on medicinal use rather than recreational use, and that all of its patients had proof of conditions from their doctors.
Employees of the store also said that the current government model was hugely inaccessible and inadequate for their patients' needs.
The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club is one of the longest-standing unlicensed dispensaries on Vancouver Island, first opening its doors 23 years ago in 1996.
On Friday, owner Ted Smith said that he hoped that the government would not intervene and return to the store on Friday.
The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club is the latest of many high-profile unlicensed dispensaries on the island to be raided by the B.C. government.
In August, the CSU shut down the island's largest chain of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries, Trees Island Grown, leaving nearly 100 employees without work. Meanwhile, since the raids, the province has opened up three BC Cannabis stores, with locations in Courtenay, Campbell River and Port Alberni.
In the near future, the province plans to open another government cannabis store on the central island. A location in Parksville's Wembley Mall, located at 826 Island Hwy W., is slated to open in winter 2019 or spring 2020