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'We think we'll prevail': Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club taking province, feds to court


The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club (VCBC) is taking the provincial and federal governments to court over continued raids and fines.

The club is launching a constitutional challenge on that grounds that it's only breaking the law because current federal laws infringe on people's rights.

For years, VCBC founder Ted Smith has wanted to walk into Victoria's courthouse to file a lawsuit that could make history, and on Wednesday, the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club did just that.

"The club is finally taking a step forward after many years of steps backwards," said Smith.

Since cannabis was legalized in 2018, the VCBC has been raided three times, and has been fined $6.5 million.

"It's morally wrong," said Kirk Tousaw, the lawyer representing the cannabis club.

"It's just wrong to go after this organization. You're harming people, you're hurting people," he said.

The province says the dispensary is breaking the rules, which the club admits to.

The club claims the true problem is that federal laws surrounding cannabis are unconstitutional.

"The bans on particularly high dosage edible products and topical products, as well as the fact that the federal system only allows online ordering from federally licensed producers, are arbitrary rules that prevent patients from having reasonable access to the medicine they need," said Tousaw.

The lawyer wants the law to change to allow higher dosages, and for storefronts to be able to licenced for medical weed, so people aren't forced to buy online.

Tousaw is also the same lawyer who, in 2015, helped the club push Canada to expand its definition of medical cannabis beyond dried leaves.

"Just stop the fighting," he said Wednesday.

The province did not respond to CTV News's request for a comment by deadline Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the federal government says it would be inappropriate to talk about a matter that's before the courts.

"We want that legal system to work for patients, and the current medical marijuana system does not work for patients," said Smith.

While Smith is waiting on the court case, he says he's also seeking an injunction against the province to prevent further raids and fines.

"We think we’ll prevail because at the end of the day, we stand in the shoes of the patients that need us the most," said Tousaw. Top Stories

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