Firearms and cannabis products seized during inspection of unlicensed East Vancouver pot shop

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      An inspection at an unlicensed cannabis shop in East Vancouver led to the discovery of firearms, the seizure of a large volume of cannabis products, and an arrest.

      The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) stated today (June 11) that VPD officers assisted the province’s Community Safety Unit (CSU) on an inspection of a cannabis business without a provincial retail licence near Clarke Drive and William Street on June 9.

      B.C.’s CSU is responsible for compliance and enforcement of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, particularly against unlicensed cannabis retailers and other illegal sellers.

      “Legislation states that a seller must be licensed by the provincial government and that product for sale must be sourced through the provincial government to ensure the safety of the product, and ultimately, the consumer,” VPD spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin explained in a news release.

      During the inspection, CSU investigators discovered two handguns and VPD, using a search warrant, seized them.

      In addition, officer seized cannabis oils, cannabis topicals, and cannabis edibles, with an estimated total retail value of $50,000 to $60,000.

      In addition, CSU located approximately 11 kilograms (25 pounds) of dried psilocybin (mushrooms), approximately 34 kilograms (75 pounds) of psilocybin-infused edible products, and hundreds of individually packaged Psilocybin powder mixed with nutrition supplements. The estimated total retail value of these items is $100,000.

      Police arrested a 35-year-old man, who has since been released pending further investigation.

      No charges have been laid yet.

      This announcement follows a news release from the B.C. Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on June 9 that stated that the B.C. Cannabis Secretariat, with assistance from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, ran a pilot study to test cannabis that the CSU seized from six illegal sellers in Metro Vancouver.

      In the study, 20 dried cannabis samples were sent to federally licensed lab in February. Test results revealed the presence of 24 pesticides, as well as “unacceptable levels of bacteria, fungi, lead, and arsenic”.

      The B.C. government news release states that federal regulations require licensed cannabis producers to have their products undergo testing for the presence of solvent residues and contaminants, including pesticides, fungi, bacteria, and heavy metals.

      Further details about the study are available at the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health website.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.