The Victoria Cannabis Buyers’ Club (VCBC) started helping people with incurable physical medical conditions by providing them with medicinal cannabis and cannabis-based products in January of 1996. Through name changes and our rebirth as a non-profit organization, our mandate and commitment to our members have remained the same. One of the oldest compassion clubs in Canada, with over 7000 active members, the VCBC opened its first storefront location, downtown Victoria on Johnson Street; Over ten years later, this remains our home.
Our second club was opened in late July of 2002 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sadly, in 2012 the founder of the Halifax branch was forced to close his doors due to medical reasons. In January 2002, we suffered a raid by police which was followed by raids in March, June, and finally February of 2003.
All 11 charges of trafficking that followed these raids were dropped, acquitted, or overturned in the Court of Appeal.
In December 2009, our organization’s bakery facility was raided by police. Following our constitutional challenge to the resulting charges, Justice Robert Johnston concluded that the section in Health Canada’s Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) (which functionally restricts recipients to using only the dried form of the drug), is unconstitutional; it breaches the Charter of Rights section that guarantees “life, liberty, and security of the person.”
The results of the 2012 Supreme Court challenge effectively granted an exemption to patients in Canada, giving them the right to create and consume products derived and created from cannabis.
The VCBC was transitioned to a nonprofit society by its founder and longtime activist Ted Smith on October 1, 2012.
What does the VCBC do?
The VCBC’s primary mandate is to provide its membership with safe access to medicinal cannabis and cannabis related products. To best meet our members’ individual needs, we offer an expansive range of products at reasonable prices. These include dried cannabis flower, mechanically separated kiefs (also known as hash), as well as a wide variety of edible and topical products. We ensure the highest quality and ethical standards are met in the sourcing and production of all our products.
VCBC is proud to offer a range of community services that complement our role as a cannabis dispensary. Our Vapour Lounge is a safe and comfortable environment for our members to use their medicine and connect with a diverse group of people who are united in their healing. Our Vapour Lounge is wheelchair accessible, has a hospital grade HEPA filtration system as well as community posting board and news board allowing members to connect and stay up to date with cannabis related news and events.
Through activism, education, and research we strive to further the public’s understanding of medicinal cannabis. We sell locally sourced glass pipes (hand blown), hemp based rolling papers, and a variety of cannabis related accessories. We only add a small handling fee to these items, making our prices significantly more affordable for our members than would otherwise be possible.
Who do we help?
Membership at the VCBC requires a physician’s diagnosis of a permanent physical disease or disability. For conditions such as depression and schizophrenia, we require a doctor ’s recommendation for the use of cannabis. For those with little experience using cannabis, we are happy to offer in-depth orientations to ensure you feel comfortable. For those who live in Canada but are too far to get to us, we offer a mail order service. If mobility is an issue or you are unable to get to our location due to your condition, we offer at home sign-ups; in addition to this, the VCBC offer’s delivery services to our members at no additional cost. We will take anyone who meets our membership criteria. We do not discriminate against age, sex, race, sexual orientation or any other reason; the VCBC is a safe space. All are welcome.