Vancouver Police target illegal marijuana stores over public safety concerns

1de90a4d4699dce1441fa22a8041e075AN investigation into a business on Vancouver’s West side has resulted in a search, arrests and the seizure of evidence as Vancouver Police Department continue to execute warrants on marijuana stores.

The investigation of Weeds Glass and Gifts, located at 2916 W 4th Avenue, began in March after public safety concerns were brought to the attention of police. Those concerns included an incident where a 15-year-old was hospitalized after allegedly purchasing edible products from the store, as well as other events involving young people.

After an initial review, police decided enforcement action was needed. Officers gathered the evidence required and obtained a search warrant. On April 29, they entered the illegal business with that warrant, arrested staff and searched the business for additional evidence.

Customers and staff at the store were identified and released pending further investigation.

Vancouver police said on Wednesday: “Our priority remains focusing on violent drug traffickers and those who prey on youth and the marginalized in our community. However, these shops are all illegal and the VPD will continue to respond to concerns and take incremental steps to decide if further investigation or enforcement action is required. Officers have the ability to use their discretion and ensure that any police response is proportionate to the circumstances involved.

“Operators and staff of illegal businesses are reminded that they are subject to criminal charges while owners or landlords could also potentially find themselves the subject of asset forfeiture.”

Vancouver Police said they are aware of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city and have taken enforcement action against several, obtaining nine search warrants in the past 18 months. Police will take action again if there are public safety concerns, particularly if they involve youth.