How We Operate

The mandate of the VCBC is to provide cannabis medicine to people suffering from chronic ailments. On October 1, 2012, the VCBC was transitioned to a nonprofit society by its founder and longtime activist Ted Smith. We provide an essential service to the community and offer a safe space for our members to gather and medicate in, as well as engaging in advocacy work. What makes us different from other non profit organizations is that, because of the illegality of our activities, we don’t have access to the types of funding available to other such organizations, so our activities are funded through revenues generated from the sale of products to our membership.

Our organization has been through countless changes since it began operating in 1996 out of the back of an old van. First it moved into a bachelor apartment in an apartment building in the downtown core. It ran there for a few years until 2001, when it moved into its present location at 826 Johnson Street.

Through all of these moves, the demographic we serve and their needs have been continually shifting as public attitudes toward cannabis as medicine have changed (in no small part due to the efforts of our group and others like us across the country and around the world).

To help navigate these changes and fully utilize the vast experience our members have, our elected Board of Directors oversee various operations of the club. A volunteer position with a two year term, our current and past board members work with Brandi Woods, our General Manager, staff and members.

When Ted Smith created the VCBC, he modeled it after the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers’ Club, which was founded by Dennis Peron, “Brownie Mary” Rathbun, and Tod H. Mikuriya, among others. They did much more than sell medicine to the many people who were ill with AIDS in San Francisco at the time – they provided a community for those people to heal themselves in. It could be said that this society was just as medicinal as the medicine they all shared a need for; at the VCBC, both the Board of Directors and staff try to emulate this in everything we do.