Who We Are

The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club (VCBC) is one of the oldest compassion clubs in Canada, with over 8000 active members to date. We started helping people with incurable physical medical conditions in January 1996.

The VCBC is a non-profit society that values cannabis as medicine. We believe all people should have access, thus, we dispense medicinal cannabis at a compassionate price.

We are open every single day of the year because our founder reminds us that cancer never quits. Neither will we.


Our club was founded by Ted Smith. He started the organization while living in a van with a pager and a plan. Once the demand for high-quality cannabis medicine began to grow, Ted moved the VCBC into a downtown Victoria apartment in the summer of 1996.

When the operation continued to grow, the VCBC opened its first storefront location in 2001. The club remained in the same spot at 826 Johnson Street in downtown Victoria. Then, in early 2023, the organization moved to its new location; you can find the VCBC at 1625 Quadra Street.

On October 1, 2012, The VCBC transitioned to a nonprofit society; Our club is overseen by a Board of Directors who are elected by our members. Through name changes and our rebirth as a non-profit organization, our mandate and commitment to our members have remained the same. 

The VCBC’s mission is to provide safe access to medicinal cannabis for its membership at a compassionate price. It is this commitment that sets our organization apart from the recreational cannabis market.

We are more than a dispensary, we are a community center. In this space we heal, using plant medicine and sharing experiences.

Our Safe Consumption Site, which we refer to as ‘The Box,’ is a space that the VCBC has provided for over a decade to allow members to consume their medicine with dignity and comfort. ‘The Box’ is an essential component of our service for our members and we wouldn’t be the same without it.

The VCBC has operated in resistance to federal cannabis prohibition from the outset. Since the store opened in 2001, the VCBC has endured 5 trials, which included 4 raids on the club between 2002 and 2003. The club beat all 15 trafficking charges laid against our organization. You can find more information on the raids on our website.

The influence of the VCBC’s activism made waves in Canadian politics and law that are still felt today. In 2015 the club’s former head baker, Owen Smith, won a unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision that granted patients the right to use cannabis oils and derivatives. Previously, Health Canada only considered inhaling cannabis to be medicinal.

Twenty-eight years later and we are still happy to provide members with high-quality cannabis medicine. If you are interested in our club or would like to become a member, you can do so online or we would love to have you come by our store any day.

Your friends at the VCBC