THE VOICE had warned in an article titled “Kash Heed says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is increasing profits of organized crime with his absurd marijuana policy” on July 3 about Vancouver dispensaries getting marijuana from the illicit market that is controlled by organized crime.
On Thursday, Vancouver police announced that they had executed a search warrant on an illegal marijuana store after investigators determined that the store had ties to organized crime.
On Wednesday night, members of the Vancouver Police Department’s Drug Unit executed a search warrant at the Limelife Society located at 4866 Rupert Street. One employee was arrested and released at the scene, and police seized evidence in their ongoing investigation.
In July, police received information that the store had links to an organized crime group. As the investigation progressed, police determined that marijuana was being sold to youth in the area, as well as to those without a valid license.
“Our priority remains focused on violent drug traffickers and those who jeopardize the safety of youth and the marginalized in our community,” said Vancouver police spokesperson Sgt. Randy Fincham. “The VPD will continue to respond to residents’ concerns and take enforcement action if it is required.”
To date, police have executed 11 search warrants on illegal marijuana stores throughout Vancouver.
IN June, Vancouver last week became the first municipality in the country to regulate medicinal marijuana dispensaries and Heed, a former solicitor general who had been a Vancouver Police inspector, told The VOICE that Canada had to replace the current policy on drugs with “a realistic, practical approach that does not put proceeds in the pocket of organized crime and does not make it accessible to our youth.”
But Heed rejected the City of Vancouver’s approach, noting: “I am very critical of what is taking place in Vancouver with the dispensary model. I think the City Council has completely taken a backward approach because the way the dispensary model is set up, the people that are supplying the dispensaries are from the illicit market and the illicit market is controlled by organized crime.”
He added: “There’s no other way you can get marijuana into these dispensaries without it coming from the illicit market because if you look at the medicinal marijuana guidelines in Canada, the legal source – of which there are 25 companies operating in Canada – can only send it to the patient by secured courier directly to their doorstep, which is a realistic way of getting the product to them. The dispensary model, in my opinion and my experience, will only benefit those involved in the illicit drug enterprise and, of course, organized crime.”
Heed had also warned: “This absurd policy in Vancouver … is actually going to create more violence. It is going to create more problems than fix them.”
– BY RATTAN MALL