Vancouver police raid second marijuana dispensary in less than two months

The Vancouver Police Department has executed a warrant against another medicinal marijuana dispensary.

The raid on Jim’s Weed Lounge at 882 East Hastings Street comes less than two months after a similar police action was carried out against a Weeds Glass and Gifts at 2580 Kingsway.

Jim Harrison, a board member of Jim’s Weed Lounge, told the Straight that between eight and 12 members of the VPD drug squad showed up around noon today (July 24).

“They said they had a warrant,” Harrison recounted in a telephone interview. “They came in here and just took all the money, all the potthe medicineand they left.”

He said that police confiscated all marijuana on the premises as well as money, computers, and mobile phones.

There are more than 40 similar marijuana dispensaries currently operating in Vancouver.

Harrison said that police wouldn’t answer questions about why their shop was selected for police action.

“As a matter of fact, the police were in last week and they said they just wanted to come in and see how things were,” he continued. “We told them we were totally transparent and running things that way.…But today they said they had a warrant because we were trafficking. But everybody in here has a federal licence.”

According to a July 24 news release, the marijuana dispensary in question was selected for police action “after police received reports that marihuana was allegedly being bought at the store and sold to youth in the surrounding neighbourhood”.

It's stated there that no arrests were made during the raid and that an investigation is ongoing.

While medicinal marijuana dispensaries technically operate in violation of federal law, the VPD has long said publicly that it does not consider storefront marijuana shops a priority.

In a telephone interview, a spokesperson for the VPD further explained why Jim's Weed Lounge was targeted while dozens of similar shops in Vanouver continue to sell marijuana.

“There are allegations that people were going into that store, buying marijuana, and then going out of the store and selling it to young peoplekids and youthin that neighbrouhood," said Sergeant Randy Fincham. "That’s definitely something that brought it to our attention."

In a June 2014 interview with the Straight, VPD Const. Brian Montague noted that it is unusual for the Vancouver police to conduct an operation against a marijuana dispensary.

Before the June 23 raid against Weeds on Kingsway, the last time that such an enforcement action occured was October 2013, he said. And before that, it was as far back as “2011 or early-2012” that the Vancouver police busted a marijuana dispensary.

Today’s news release goes on to provide some information about how Vancouver police are exercising enforcement actions against outlets selling marijuana.

“The VPD will continue to respond to any complaints about illegal marijuana use and sales and decide if further investigation or enforcement action is required,” it reads. “Our priority remains focusing on violent drug traffickers and those who prey on youth, the marginalized or the drug addicted.”

It continues: “Our frontline officers will continue to use discretion enforcing the possession and consumption of marijuana under federal law. Options include criminal charges, seizures and violation tickets for smoking under the city bylaws.”

Comments (23) Add New Comment
Draco Freeman
What a disturbing waste of our tax dollars.
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BS
Shouldn't they arrest whoever is reselling the weed outside instead of the people running the store? That's like raiding a pharmacy because I bought some pills then peddled them in a park somewhere.

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Freeda Green
Now if it were legal, we wouldn't be in this situation. The current LP business plan is like forcing the patients "to eat at a restaurant paying top dollar, rather than grow your own vegetables/etc."
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Dylan Nickerson
This is ludicrous! They shouldn't be able to punish the dispensary for members reselling! If that was true every single dispensary would be shut down including VDS! Another fine example of targeted attacks within the community.
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Kim
Shame on Jim's Weed's members for reselling your medicine to minors! Shame on you all!
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Martin Dunphy
Kim:

Thanks for the post. However, if you read the article, you will see: no one ever said "members" in the plural; no one has yet been charged that anyone is aware of; and those were just "reports" that were cited, meaning allegations.
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Kim
Allow me to rephrase my comment, Martin. Medical marihuana dispensaries can't make sure there members aren't reselling to minors and once the medicine leaves the store it's up to the members to smoke it responsibly. So, these members are actually breaking the law and betraying the rules of the dispensary ad must be dealt with accordingly. Thank you.
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Fu
Lol the staff was not reselling it it was people who went to the shop it could happen anywhere with anything alcohol cigs it don't matter it happens all the time the dispensary should not be at fault
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Defcon
I'm more worried about the large amount of unregistered longarms in Canada. Must be some killer weed.
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RD
Its here to stay and needs to be regulated not fought! Unfortunate for Jim. Kim, it's paranoid, worst case scenario thinkers like yourself that need to do more research on the issues before you comment.
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paul
every other dispensary sells for 200 an ounce
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Jimmy
I hate to say this, but if you advertise to accept other dispensary cards, which may or may not be either real or from some shady dispensary, you've helped invite the problem to your doorstep. It's only a matter of someone getting a card somewhere else then coming there to buy their medicine. which allegedly works well enough for the neighborhood drug dealers. It's unfortunate but that's just the way it is. Tighten up the rules and that would help immensely.
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say what?!
ok, so now we must close down the liquor stores because people may be supplying minors with booze. now we must close down all stores that sell cigarettes because someone may be supplying kids with smokes. what the hell, give me a break! kids had access to pot long before the dispensaries opened and will continue to have access no matter what the cops do to the dispensaries. this only drives it all underground - what a colossal waste of time and money! legalize marijuana medicinally and otherwise. people pull your heads out of your asses!
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damn
I agree BS... this is totally ridiculous. They are one of the more popular and reputable dispensaries in the lower mainland. I am only speculating, but perhaps this is a NIMBY situation, where some mother found pot in her son's room or something silly and it was in a Jim's bag and probably was from jim's but that's besides the point. Jim's Weeds is popular, and maybe Mom doesn't want Jimmy buying pot and has lodged a complaint against the dispenary because Jimmy won't give up the person reselling to him. Speculating...
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kitten
advertising contests on facebook, and soliciting at the water front is not smart. Better business practice would definitely have created a different situation.
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next target
Liquor store on Cambie and 41st. I heard some people were buying booze for minors outside. Can't wait for VPD to show up and take all the booze, computers and cash.
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Pointing it the obvious
Marijuana acceptance has advanced gradually and in spite of those eager for publicity. The cops didn't raid the shops until people involved got it in their heads to talk to the press and make the lack of enforcement a media issue. When the media get involved the dozing mass jerks awake and some of them, those opposed to anything less than jail for a joint, whine to their politicians and the police. When that happens they need to appear to be taking action. That is a basic fact of reality people and yet many of you whine about the minor & predictable enforcement.

It is impossible for members of a conditioned herd to comprehend nuance, in this case the pro- & anti- weed herds. The pro-pot herd see a pot profiteer bragging to the media about how the cops can't touch him and they cheer like good Stalinists at a party conference. In their zeal they don't comprehend that such behaviour delays the inevitable and undermines the work of those who toil anonymously rather than seek cameras at every turn. The only thing more pathetic than a martyr like Emery is a poseur like Jim: Emery wanted to be arrested, he just didn't expect such a long sentence; Harrison thumbed his nose at the cops and is whining they enforced the current laws.

The anti-pot herd is just as pathetic, even though they are under-represented in these forums. They are either "anti-drug" crusaders without any rational arguments about why some drugs are legal while others are not: they will get drunk and chain smoke as they tell you why weed is bad. The other stripe of anti-pot drones are the absolutely anti-all "intoxicant" crowd, often combined with a firm belief in one prominent mythology or another. Most people don't really care and it is their lack of interest that has made anti-pot laws tougher to enforce.

Pro-pot folks are often single issue voters, those who remember to vote. If Vision could somehow promise absolutely zero enforcement of marijuana laws in the city they would have another group eager to vote the party line. Identifying single issue groups is key to Vision's control of the city as they can be convinced to overlook the questionable development policies in return for bike lanes, green building rules or pot-friendly police.
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nx211
I can say for certain that a single mother of 2 small children living a block from Jim's Weed Lounge made the call to the police as she has complained to the city of Vancouver already in the past but with no results. She strongly feels that all the pot being smoked outside the store has a genitive impact on the children living and going to school in the area and the drugs only increase the criminally minded and possibly violent peoples we call 'street people' I hear her concerns but as a loyal member of Jim's Weed Lounge i can say with certainty that Those working there due there jobs with great respect to those in the neighbourhood and has not nor will ever sell pot to anyone not Licensed to be there. I have not once witnessed any violence at any time and would like to remind everyone that Jim's Weed Lounge is located in the area of Clark and E Hastings and lets face it, The East side of Vancouver has been pledged with troubled people long before Jim's Weed Lounge. It is to my opinion that this un-named mother of two is miss guided with her attempt to clean up her neighbourhood in this way. A note to those working at Jim's Weed Lounge: She will call the police again and again, she feels that if the police are called enough, they will eventually shut you down.
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Paul
Poor cops...so incompetent...
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WasteMyTaxDollars
I hear people are taking medicines from pharmacies and selling them to kids so they can get high. We should raid those and take all their medicine too.
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