Jake Ryan

Jake Ryan

Former Nanaimo Mountie heads security at marijuana operation

NANAIMO – Jake Ryan oversees security at Tilray, utilizing a similar system to the White House.

When 30 grams of medical marijuana costs $300, a producer servicing patients across Canada must think seriously about its security.

Who better to handle the job than a former RCMP criminal intelligence officer?

That qualification meant Insp. Al O’Donnell, operations officer at Nanaimo RCMP detachment, would regret taking Cpl. Jake Ryan, former head of Nanaimo RCMP’s Criminal Intelligence Division, to meet the top people at Tilray when the company proposed starting operations at Duke Point.

“I hated to lose Jake – good member, good, strong guy – but the reality was the company was going to open up here and to take Jake over with such high integrity that he has, it has to leave us with comfort that the company that’s going in there to open up is all above board,” O’Donnell said.

The relationship between Privateer Holdings – Tilray’s parent company – and Ryan grew as he advised staff on security systems and protocols. They finally offered him a job as head of security, but the offer wasn’t a slam dunk for Tilray.

With seven years in criminal intelligence with the federal wing of the RCMP, Ryan knows just about everybody in Canada’s crime world, so everyone involved with the company had to check out clean before he considered working for them. When Privateer Holdings’ principals proved highly credible and the company looked like a good fit for Nanaimo, he got more curious.

“I was really wanting to get a feel for this company and what it was about and that was really the beginning of the journey for me,” Ryan said.

The old marijuana production licensing system was broken, Ryan said. Criminal involvement, drug rips, fires, chemicals, and other associated issues made legal grow ops unsafe for the communities in which they operated. Ryan saw Tilray as a better way to go about it and a chance to build something from the ground up.

Tilray currently grows 25 strains of marijuana at the site. Everything from the call-in centre to growing, cutting, packaging and shipping product is contained within the facility. Construction is underway within the building, which only uses about half of the current space available, to double production.

Ryan has designed a security system using the same camera, scanning and detection equipment found at the White House and the Pentagon. Ryan said he can’t discuss specifics, but the system covers all movements within the site and well beyond the site’s fence perimeter.

As for a former cop helping a company grow marijuana?

“My wife’s a cop here in Nanaimo,” Ryan said. “All my brothers, my brother’s wife, uncles … I have a real, real cop family and everyone’s supportive. All my coworkers, extremely supportive and everyone’s like, ‘Yeah, this is cool.’”

Just Posted

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

An artist’s rendering of a proposed student housing complex at 326 Wakesiah Ave. (WA Architects Ltd. image)
Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
Island Health opening COVID-19 vaccine clinic to boost lagging Cowichan Lake numbers

Cowichan Valley West the only Island area under 60 per cent in adult first dose totals

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Most Read