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.