For Immediate Release
Thursday December 22, 2022
Victoria, B.C.: The oldest medical cannabis provider in Canada will be moving in the new year, after its new landlord gave the society an eviction notice, effective Jan 2, 2022, just before the Christmas break. On December 14, lawyers for Bluebird Core Associates Inc. served the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club with an eviction notice less than two months after the Calgary storage company purchased the Johnson St building that the club has made history in for over two decades. With so little notice for such massive changes, the VCBC has no choice but to defy the landlord and continue operating at 826 Johnson St, where it has existed since March 2001, until a new facility can be prepared, which will take an estimated three months.
The VCBC will continue operating at 826 Johnsons St into the new year. We will be closed Sunday December 25th and Sunday January 1st for the holidays. We expect to be open for business as usual Monday January 2nd at 10am in spite of these threats.
Since January 1996, the VCBC has operated outside the law because the federal medical cannabis program is unconstitutional, inadequate, expensive and inaccessible to many patients. The club is waiting for a hearing to dispute administrative fines totally near $6.5 million from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, which were issued earlier this year after raids by the Community Safety Unit in November 2019 and July 2020. The eviction letter was sent the same day solicitor Cox Taylor received allegations from the CSU that the VCBC was not in compliance with the Cannabis Act.
Lawyers for the VCBC, Kirk Tousaw and Jack Lloyd, firmly believe the club has solid legal arguments that the non-profit society should be allowed to stay at 826 Johnson St. until it is able to transition into another location. An application for an exemption from the Cannabis Act to provide high dosage edibles in a storefront for medical purposes is under consideration by Health Canada. The VCBC has not been found in violation of any statutes of law and there are clauses in the lease protecting the landlord from penalties that may result from the actions of the organization, along with other commercial law arguments that should stop the landlord from immediately evicting the club.
Founder Ted Smith and the VCBC have attempted to act in good faith with the new landlord. The club had been given false assurances by Bluebird Self-Storage regional manager, Vincent Kirton, that there would be no immediate need for the VCBC to find another home until renovations were being done. While the club is shocked that the new landlord would take such an abrupt, harsh approach to an organization with a long history of caring for the sick and dying, it is hopeful that an agreement can be reached to allow the club to smoothly move into its next home on April 1, 2023.
For more information call Ted Smith at 250-415-1063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eviction Notice from Blue Bird Storage Unit, delivered December 14th:
VCBC’s Lawyer Kirk Tousaw’s response to the eviction notice: