Busted East Vancouver marijuana dispensary reopens and warns others to play by the rules

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A Vancouver police drug squad’s raid on an East Vancouver marijuana dispensary has likely spooked staff at similar storefronts, of which there are more than 30 in Vancouver operating illegally. 

But the owner of the shop that was searched by police, a Weeds Glass and Gifts at 2580 Kingsway, suggests dispensary operators actually have little to worry about if they learn from his mistake.

According to Don Briere, who owns stakes in eight Weeds Glass and Gifts outlets, VPD officers showed up because his Kingsway location crossed one of the unwritten rules within which Vancouver’s marijuana dispensaries operate.

“We had clones [young plants] there that we were selling to sick people who couldn’t afford to buy [dried] cannabis,” he told the Straight. “Even though it wasn’t a grow-op, the clones were growing. And the police do not want growing going on.”

Briere said the East Vancouver location reopened for business almost immediately after VPD officers left the area.

“We support the police,” he added. “Everything is cool.”

According to a VPD media release, police felt the Kingsway dispensary was “operating in an unsafe manner”. It states that charges will be recommended.

In a telephone interview, Const. Brian Montague wouldn’t discuss details of an investigation he described as ongoing with charges pending. But he did confirm that it was a specific grievance that prompted police to move on the East Vancouver Weeds Glass and Gifts.

“We have a priority-based approach to policing,” Montague said. “The dispensaries, generally, are a low priority for us. We focus our drug investigations more on the trafficking of drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. But public safety is our main concern, and there is a potential for something that is not a priority to become a priority, which is basically what has happened here.”

Montague noted that it is unusual for the Vancouver police to conduct an operation against a marijuana dispensary.

October 2013 was the last time such enforcement action occurred, he noted. And before that, it was as far back as “2011 or early-2012” that the Vancouver police busted a marijuana dispensary.

“We’ve been pretty clear it’s not a priority for us,” Montague said. “But there are risks that these operators are taking. These are illegal. And if we believe that public safety is becoming an issue, then they will become a priority.”

Comments (4) Add New Comment
No Clones?
Yeah, selling clones would cut into the profits being made by whoever is supplying these dispensaries. The VPD is in dereliction of its duty. The idea that it can look the other way while thirty+ criminal enterprises operate in the city in full view, advertising in magazines, on billboards, etc. is pathetic.

It should bust them all and hopefully at least one has squirreled away enough money for a successful charter challenge. The Vancouver City Charter says that the mayor has a duty to enforce the law for the government of the city. Part of that law, whether we agree with it or not, is the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act which provides no retail exemption for marihuana.

Why does the City look the other way? In the end, it is probably due to nothing but money. They operate on a complaint-basis in order to provide a pretext for ignoring obvious organized crime going on in plain sight.
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MD
No Clones?
"They operate on a complaint-basis in order to provide a pretext for ignoring obvious organized crime going on in plain sight"

If you tin foil hat is tight enough, its all pretexts and false flags (except of course, the people accusing everyone else of needing pretexts and using false flags, as they are always on the side of the angels)

Would you rather they lower the priority on murders and drive by shootings and meth labs and other assorted greater harms and let the gang banger wannabes run around the Lower Mainland gunning each other and innocent bystanders down so your conspiratorial fantasies can by indulged?

If if one assumes that organized crime is greasing the wheels, it isn't from the proceeds or, or for the benefit of, the proverbial "drop in the economic bucket of the marijuana industry" dispensaries provide.

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Daniel
To MD "...lower the priority on murders and drive by shootings and meth labs and other assorted greater harms and let the gang banger wannabes run around the Lower Mainland..."

How about the fantasy about jailing our way out? Complete legalization is the only drug policy worth talking about, bs raids like this and glutinous territorial killings would be a thing of the past.
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Guy
Jims Weeds on East Hastings was just raided today!!!
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