Cannabis Digest – April 2022


VCBC RECEIVED $6.5 MILLION FINE

We have received a fine from the British Columbia Community Safety Unit (CSU) on January 24th, 2022 for providing medicines outside the legal system. The BC Cannabis Control and Licensing Act gives the province the ability to impose fines for non-compliance with the legal recreational scheme. Using a formula that adds the estimated value of seized products from the raids in 2019 and 2022, the  CSU estimates sales over a period of time and then doubles the number to determine the fine. The executive director of the Community Safety Unit, Jamie Lipp, has issued a fine of $3,235,465.74 to the society as well as a separate fine of the same amount to Ted Smith, founder of the VCBC. 

For context, in 2016 Teck Metals was fined $3.4 million for polluting heavy metals into the Columbia River in Trail, BC (Source: Mark Hume, Globe and Mail, February 2016).  We have been fined $6.5 million dollars for providing medicine to patients where the government refuses to, while the medical system is crumbling across the country and the opioid epidemic continues to surge. We have appealed the fine and are waiting for a hearing date.  Before that date we will be filing an application in another court to argue the federal medical cannabis system is unconstitutional for being inaccessible and having low THC limits.

If you are able to support us in this battle, please send donations for our legal fees by:

Interac E-transfer to: savethevcbc@gmail.com.  
Or you can mail cheques directly to:
Jack LLoyd Law Corporation
2459 Pauline Street, Abbotsford, BC
V2S3S1

420 @ THE BC LEGISLATURE

2pm to 6pm – Lawn of the Legislature – April 20th



We are so excited to gather and celebrate 420 with our community this year after two long years of isolation. This year we celebrate being together once more but we are also protesting the ongoing injustice faced by medical patients.  In January of this year the VCBC received a $6.5 million fine for serving medicine to patients.  This event will be used as a fundraiser to gather resources for our ongoing legal battle with the provincial and federal government

Member’s raffle: April 1st to 20th members will be able to buy raffle tickets for a chance to win 1 of 5 gift baskets full of cannabis medicine and accessories. We will sell tickets to members online by distance as well and mail baskets to winners out of town. Email us at hellovcbc@gmail.com to purchase member only raffle tickets. 

Public Raffle:  Tickets will be available to members of the public on the day of the Rally with tickets sold in person at the Legislature.  Winners of the non-member raffle will be entered to win 1 of 5 cannabis accessories gift baskets.

Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5

Pie Ted in the Face!
From 5pm to 6pm we will be offering our friends and community the once in a lifetime opportunity to pie Ted Smith, founder of the VCBC, in the face with a pie tin full of whip cream.  $10 minimum donation per pie to the face, with all proceeds going to our legal battle against the $6.5 million fine.

Music from 2pm to 6pm
We are so delighted to be able to offer four hours of booty shaking tunes to dance all afternoon! Powered by PK sound, we will be dancing to the delectable beats of Phi-Rex and friends.  Stay tuned for more DJ announcements closer to the event date on our Facebook Page. 

Flow Performances
Thanks to the contributions of members of the Fern Burn Club, we are so pleased to announce that we will be showcasing a multitude of flow artists and performers to entertain the masses all afternoon. Tips for the performers are encouraged and appreciated!

Speakers
It wouldn’t be 420 without a list of powerful speakers to discuss the ongoing insjustices faced by patients across our nation. The legal weed industry is not working.  Ted Smith, Kirk Tousaw, and Owen Smith will be speaking throughout the afternoon to educate us on what needs to be done to support our canna community in these turbulent times. Special Shout out to Rose Henry who will be conducting our welcoming to the space and the unceeded lands upon which we gather. 

REOPENING THE BOX!

It has been a long and arduous two years and the VCBC hasn’t been the same without our beloved Box filled with members sharing space and smoking their meds together. 

April 8th at 10am we welcome our members back to The Box!

We will be celebrating the special occasion with balloons, music, as well as endless joy and giggles and laughter.  April 8th is expected to be the end of vaccination requirements for indoor spaces. Now that both the vaccine requirements and the mask requirements wil be over, we are ready to welcome back out members to the space.

We will not be providing a dab rig at this time, and we discourage members from sharing joints between each other.  Please feel free to wear a mask if it makes you more comfortable.  The box is for members only, use your discretion for how long you are in the space because there will be an overwhelming demand for time in The Box.

Dr. Marilou Gagnon’s study on The Box is now complete and her and her team are now in the process of compiling the data and finding trends.  It is her intention to submit the paper for publication in a peer reviewed drug policy journal.  We are so honoured to have been able to participate in this study to establish quantifiable and credible evidence that The Box is an essential component of our organization.

SUBSTANCE USE RESEARCHERS SUPPORT VCBC

The VCBC has received a powerful letter of support from allies at the University of Victoria, researchers in substance use and harm reduction who agree that the VCBC deserves an exemption from the Cannabis Act.  These researchers go on to argue that the VCBC ought not to be punished for providing a necessary service to our community and those most in need of support.  Spearheaded by. Dr. Marilou Gagnon, this letter was signed by several researchers working from the Canadian Institute of Substance Use Research and addressed to the members of the provincial and federal government in support of our Exemption Application. Last year we submitted our application to Health Canada requesting that our non-profit medical compassion club be exempt from the Cannabis Act and to negotiate a pathway to a license with Health Canada so we could continue to operate our storefront medical dispensary and to provide medicines with a much higher dose than the current 10mg limit.

A year ago we submitted our Exemption application filled with over 300 letters of support from patients and their caregivers.  We received letters of support from our local government, other harm reduction and patient advocay assosications, as well as letters from medical practioners and an economic review of the viability of compassion clubs as a distribution model. We have not heard from Health Canada in over a year. 

Everyone at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club wants to thank Dr. Marilou Gagnon and her academic peers for writing and signing this letter for the VCBC Exemption Application from the Cannabis Act. The backing of a team of substance use and harm reduction researchers speaks volumes in our work to provide high quality and low cost cannabis medicine to patients in need. Everyone who works on the front line with patients and substance users greatly appreacites your efforts in researching this complicated field. 

We have appealed the $6.5 million fine and are waiting for a hearing date. Before that date we will be filing an application in another court to argue the federal medical cannabis system is unconstitutional for being inaccessible and having low THC limits for cannabis products. 

We want to thank Dr. Marilou Gagnon, Dr. Bernie Pauly, Dr. Zach Walsh, Dr. M-J Milloy, and Dr. Tim Stockwell for this letter of support during one of the most significant and precedent setting periods in our club’s history.

Click here to access the full letter of support:

https://cannabisdigest.ca/substance-use-researchers-support-vcbc-request-for-exemption-from-cannabis-act/