Victoria Council supports exemption for Cannabis Buyers Club

Cannabis Buyers

Victoria Council's Committee of the Whole has unanimously passed a motion advocating for an exemption for the unlicensed Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club.

The Club was closed down in a November raid, but  -- arguing they were the only source of affordable medical grade marijuana products for sick clients -- they re-opened shortly afterwards.

Owner Ted Smith wants a temporary Provincial exemption from the Licensing Act as he works to get the Club fully licensed, and says strong council support will get their foot in the door:

"We were so fortunate to have such strong support amongst council that there was not even a debate."

The motion must receive final approval at the evening council meeting, which is expected.  But Smith says there is still a long road ahead:

" Our next step is to convince the BC Green party that this is something to support.  And then we'll focus on the BC NDP cabinet itself because they hold a tremendous amount of influence, in fact they're the ones we are relying on to get the exemption. But even then we will still need to put pressure on the federal government to get an exemption from law because there are federal

Smith says he doesn't expect to be raided again after stories of desperate cancer patients surfaced, but he admits there could be other action against the club.

Meantime Mayor Lisa Helps is clea that council's support is not an exemption, it's simply to help in the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club's efforts to convince the province to grant one.

Helps says the business supplies much-needed medicine and a sense of community to people who need those things.

She says council will respect whatever decision the provincial government makes.