Nanaimo RCMP executed search warrants on three marijuana dispensaries today.

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP raid marijuana dispensaries

NANAIMO – Nanaimo RCMP have executed warrants at three marijuana dispensaries today.



Pot shop employees are shocked and “disgusted” in the wake of a Nanaimo RCMP raid of three medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Nanaimo RCMP executed search warrants at three dispensaries on Tuesday, close to three weeks after warning storefronts to close down or face potential enforcement.

The Nanaimo RCMP put 11 dispensaries on notice Nov. 12 that they had seven days to stop selling marijuana and marijuana derivatives or could be subject to enforcement, including the arrest of employees and patrons and seizure of “offence-related” property.

The RCMP say two storefronts have since closed. Action was taken on three dispensaries: Trees Dispensary, Phoenix Pain Management Society and Nature’s Source Society. It’s unknown what will happen to other dispensaries. The RCMP say the investigation is ongoing.

Anita Roy, manager of Trees Dispensary Nanaimo, is shocked by the police action. The dispensary closed only temporarily after being served the police notice in November. Roy said people were begging for their medicine and the storefront hadn’t shut down for a year and it was “OK,” so they thought, to carry on.

“Obviously we regret that we didn’t, at this point in time,” she said.

Roy says three employees were arrested.

“I wish it would have been me because innocent employees should not be arrested or harassed in this way,” said Roy. “I’m shocked that they would do this after all this time which is a whole year of operating.”

The Nanaimo RCMP issued a press release Tuesday as it executed the search warrants, claiming to have received several public complaints about illegal marijuana storefronts. Some, the press release said, were actively soliciting business by having sales people stand outside or waving signs to solicit customers. It also said there is no “legal mechanism” in Canada that allows for dispensaries or compassion clubs to sell or gift to the public.

“When I have reports of storefronts selling marijuana to youths and concerned community members approaching me about it, we are compelled to take enforcement action,” said RCMP Supt. Mark Fisher. “Our approach has always been to address public concerns, consult our contracting partners, stakeholders and allow for our investigations to determine the way forward. That was done in this case.”

Matthew O’Donnell, Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition spokesman and a board member for the Phoenix Pain Management Society, said two volunteers were arrested. He’s surprised, disgusted and angered.

He doesn’t know why the dispensary was singled out, but expects police will take all of the seized products.

Travis Lane, general manager for the Trees stores, said he’s not surprised the RCMP followed through on its warning, and that the dispensary is aware the drug hasn’t been removed from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act so it’s still illegal.

“Really they are free to do this if they want, it’s just the way that they’ve gone about it seems very non-Canadian, non-polite and non-compassionate,” said Lane, who is offended police would arrest “15-dollar-an-hour employees without contacting head office and asking us to come in.”

He told the News Bulletin the tentative plan was to re-open after police left.

The Nanaimo RCMP has not released any information on arrests.

Just Posted

No one tries to take down Nanaimo’s Discontent City at rally

Soldiers of Odin Vancouver Island a no show so far after making threats two days earlier

Kidney Foundation Nanaimo chapter president seeks ‘bail money’ in fundraiser

Randy Spensley will be on a scissor lift in a jailbird outfit Aug. 25 at Country Club Centre

MULTIMEDIA: Fair weather, food and fun at VIEX in Nanaimo

A gallery of the second day of the Vancouver Island Exhibition at Beban Park in Nanaimo

Urban planner wants to join city council to help build Nanaimo

Tyler Brown held his campaign launch this week

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

MULTIMEDIA: Fair weather, food and fun at VIEX in Nanaimo

A gallery of the second day of the Vancouver Island Exhibition at Beban Park in Nanaimo

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at Harmac mill

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday

Nanaimo Astronomy Society invites public to look at the night sky

Telescopes on display for society’s annual outdoor social event Aug. 23

Fire destroys home in Campbell River

Cause unknown in fire that gutted Willow Point home on Sunday

V.I. Raiders score comeback victory against Langley Rams

Nanaimo team erases 31-7 deficit to beat Langley Rams 35-34

Nanaimo’s VIEX country fair underway

Vancouver Island Exhibition happening Aug. 17-19 at Beban Park

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

Two hurt in car wreck at Northfield intersection

NANAIMO – Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday on old Island Highway

Vehicle catches fire on Rutherford Road

NANAIMO – No one hurt in incident, which happened at 2:30 p.m. Friday

Most Read