The Limelife Society Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary at 119 Nicol St. had the lights on, but wasn’t open for business the morning of Friday, Nov. 3.
The dispensary was raided by Nanaimo RCMP Thursday and the investigation continued at the scene overnight.
“That’s still ongoing and the search is continuing,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, Friday morning.
— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) November 3, 2017
Staff at the Bud Barn Society Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary, located next door at 115 Nicol St., which was open for business, said police arrived at the Limelife dispensary at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday and were on scene overnight until at about 7:30 a.m. Friday before leaving and returning again at about 9:30 a.m. when they “loaded a whole bunch of stuff in a vehicle and took off again” according to a Red Barn staff member, who asked not to be identified.
According to police, the search resulted from an ongoing investigation into information received that patrons of the business were actively trafficking in suspected illegal opiods.
The search warrant was carried out at about 8 p.m. Thursday and resulted in the arrest of two men ages 28 and 29, as well as a 28-year-old female employee of the business.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, it is alleged “there were 15 clients inside the business actively engaged in consuming shatter and other marijuana derivatives. Along with the arrests, investigators seized several kilograms of marijuana, marijuana derivatives, marijuana edibles and approximately $17,000 in Canadian currency.”
Police also allege two men arrested were in possession of a number of purple tablets suspected of being illegal opioids.
“Our concern was twofold: one, of course, it’s an illegal storefront – they don’t have any authorization to do what they’re doing – but, secondly and primarily because of the opioid crisis in our community – our information was that patrons were actively engaging in the trafficking of suspected opioids,” O’Brien said.
The female was held in police custody for approximately four hours before she was released on a promise to appear for possession for the purpose of trafficking (cannabis).
The two male suspects were also kept in police custody, with one being released on a promise to appear on charges of possession of a controlled substance (suspected opiods).
The other male was released without charge. The male and female are schedule to make their first appearance in Nanaimo provincial court in late February.
Investigators turned the premises back over to the building landlord just after 11 a.m. Friday.
“The landlord is cooperating with police and it appears that that storefront will be shut down at that location,” O’Brien said.
Police estimate at least 15 medicinal marijuana dispensary storefronts have operated in Nanaimo throughout the past two years and of those, approximately five have closed due to police enforcement or for business reasons.
The Limelife Society dispensary premises in Nanaimo were abandoned temporarily in December 2015 when police raided three other dispensaries.
Limelife Society management has not commented so far about this most recent action by police.