Police claim alleged ties to organized crime prompted bust of East Vancouver marijuana dispensary

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      The Vancouver Police Department has executed a search warrant against a marijuana dispensary on the eastern edge of the city.

      According to VPD spokesperson Sgt. Randy Fincham, the storefront, called Limelife Society and located at 4866 Rupert Street, is under investigation for alleged ties to organized crime.

      In a telephone interview, Fincham declined to provide additional details while the investigation remained ongoing.

      “All I can say is that is what brought it to our attention was the alleged connection to organized crime,” he said. “Whether that is gangs, drugs, money—there would be a whole array of things that would go into that category. But certainly, it was the connection to organized crime that put it on our radar.”

      The legal definition of a criminal organization appears in Section 467.1 of the Criminal Code.

      It’s stated there that for crime to qualify as organized, it must involve three or more individuals inside or outside of Canada, and “one of its main purposes” must be to facilitate one or more “serious offences” that result in material benefit.

      A serious offence is defined as a crime where the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more.

      Fincham emphasized it would ultimately be a judge that determines whether the activities the VPD is investigating in relation to Limelife Society qualify as organized crime.

      An August 13 VPD media release states police began investigating the dispensary at 4866 Rupert Street last July and executed the warrant on the evening of August 12.

      “Police received information that the store had links to an organized crime group,” it reads. “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.”

      The release adds it remains the VPD’s “priority” to focus on violent drug dealers and those that threaten the safety of youth. The force has long used that language as a code to mean it is unlikely to initiative police actions against the majority of marijuana storefronts that operate in accordance with informal rules established by the city and police.

      There are more than 90 marijuana dispensaries operating in the City of Vancouver. Many of those will soon be forced to relocate or close in accordance with new zoning bylaws the city passed on June 24.

      Limelife Society is the eleventh marijuana dispensary the VPD has acted against since the industry entered a phase of rapid expansion in Vancouver roughly two years ago.

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      5 Comments

      James Blunt

      Aug 13, 2015 at 1:30pm

      But is not every dispensary other then those that are actual non-profits technically organized crime groups? Marijuana distribution is still a crime and there the individuals who are profiting from these dispensaries are technically criminals.

      This lackadaisical approach to policing is getting rather hilarious.

      Jayson P.

      Aug 13, 2015 at 1:58pm

      This Limelife Society location at 4866 Rupert is also within 300 meters of a school, Sir Wilfred Grenfell Elementary School.

      and then

      Aug 13, 2015 at 5:16pm

      we're surprised?

      Beatnuck

      Aug 13, 2015 at 5:40pm

      When are they going to start arresting the bar-owners? LOL.

      @James Blunt

      Aug 13, 2015 at 6:04pm

      It is getting rather hilarious. I guess none of them want to get their competition busted, but anyone can go to Court and apply for a warrant, which the VPD would then have to execute, lest they be in contempt of court. Honestly, the cat is out of the bag, and busting the right dispensaries would get dispensaries legalized Canada-wide, because they would surely win in court. This raises the question of whose interest it is in to not bust them. When it was just the BCCCS you could make the argument that a bust would hurt patients, but not patients have dozens of places to choose from, so why not bust one or two that could defend themselves, get them to take one for the team and have dispensaries legalized Canada-wide?

      As the old Company saying goes, "you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs." At bottom, patients elsewhere are suffering while these people in Vancouver make money hand over fist. It's time they gave something back.