The Drugs Store selling MDMA, cocaine, and more to open in Vancouver this week (PHOTOS)

May 2 2023, 6:37 pm

Editor’s note: The store originally planned to open May 2 at 4 pm near Main and Hastings, but the opening has been pushed back to May 3 at 6 pm near Hastings and Cordova

The man behind a bold and not-quite-legal harm-reduction initiative says his mobile store selling cocaine, MDMA, opioids, and other drugs, will be opening in Vancouver this week.

Metro Vancouver advocate Jerry Martin has been planning to open the store for several months, and told Daily Hive that it will be setting up shop near Main and Cordova streets from 6 to 9 pm on Wednesday.

He shared photos of the mobile store, attached to the back of a covered truck. It’s a small black structure, reminiscent of a tiny home, where staff are separated from customers by a glass partition. There’s a slot in the counter where customers are passed their substances.

the drugs store photo

Jerry Martin/Submitted

the drugs store interior

Jerry Martin/Submitted

the drugs store

Jerry Martin/Submitted


Martin says safe supply is a key part of harm reduction, and believes his new store will save lives.

“Basically we’re going to provide safe, tested drugs that will reduce overdoses for sure,” he told Daily Hive back in January.

The initiative comes after BC decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs on January 31. People now won’t be penalized for carrying up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, or MDMA/ecstasy for personal use.

But selling controlled drugs remains prohibited, putting Martin’s store outside of what’s legally allowed.

Martin acknowledges he may be arrested — but he has a plan. If that happens, he’ll launch a legal challenge related to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, arguing people need access to safe drugs under Section 7, which entitles people to life, liberty, and security of person.

jerry martin

Jerry Martin/Submitted

The issue is close to Martin’s heart because his brother died of an overdose last year, and he lost another brother to a murder connected to the drug trade. He’s working to shift how addiction and drug supply are viewed, and thinks having access to safe drugs is a key part of the equation.

Vancouverites can already purchase legal cannabis from government-sanctioned stores and can also buy psilocybin mushrooms from several not-legal-but-not-shut-down dispensaries, too. Government-run safer supply initiatives also give select participants access to opioids in Vancouver.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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