Ted Smith

Ted Smith

Marijuana club opens its books

The Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada will open its operational manual to public



Victoria’s medicinal marijuana dispensary is pulling back the curtain on its operations to argue strict new federal rules won’t meet the needs of patients with cancer, AIDS and chronic pain problems.

The Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada chose to publish its operations manual on the same day Health Canada released its revised medicinal marijuana regulations last week.

The new regulations, which take effect April 1, 2014, will outlaw homegrown marijuana  which will in turn drive up costs and restrict access to already-isolated patients, said Ted Smith, buyers club proprietor.

“We’ve been doing this for 17 years, and a lot of people have questions about how we do things. So we wanted to be as transparent and as helpful as possible,” Smith said. “We’re a non-profit society providing a service to sick people.”

The manual includes a list of documents describing how the plant should be grown, inspected and made into a usable product, as well as policies on how to sign-up new members, conduct security, clean and handle marijuana.

“Part of what we want to show is there are reasonable means of distributing this medicine that are more responsible than the one the federal government has outlined,” Smith said.

Under the new rules, medicinal users will only be able to purchase dried marijuana from approved commercial producers. By outlawing homegrown sources, many patients will soon need to rely on mail-order delivery as well, Smith said.

“Whether you’re smoking it or eating it or applying it topically, there are so many ways you can use cannabis. It’s unfair to assume someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer can learn how to use this medicine from a piece of paper or website and deal with everything else going on at the same time,” he said.

The Victoria-based club provides marijuana to medicinal users to alleviate pain and discomfort. Users can smoke, vapourize, consume baked goods or use topical oils and creams for limited medical conditions that must be approved by a doctor.

Smith and his colleagues won a lengthy legal battle in 2012 that allows them to produce cookies and other alternative marijuana products in the dispensary.

The B.C. court of appeal is set to review that case Oct. 17, and Smith hopes it eventually reaches the Supreme Court of Canada.

“As long as the government doesn’t allow for extracts and people can’t buy cookies or massage oils off a commercial producer, there’s a role for dispensaries. Until that gaping hole is dealt with, we have a necessary role to play.”

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read