Vancouver police have paid a visit to a marijuana store on West 4th Avenue, searched the place, and made one arrest on Wednesday.
The person arrested has been released pending further investigation.
Police say they decided to take action, and with a warrant they entered Weeds Glass and Gifts after a 15-year-old was taken to hospital after allegedly buying edible products from the store.
The owner of the shop in question, Don Briere, says he commends the police for doing their job.
“If that’s the case, not only should that person be charged, but they will be immediately terminated. And if it was a client who purchased it on his behalf, that client will be banned and barred from ever coming into our stores.”
Briere adds he supports City Hall in its move to regulate illegal marijuana shops.
But he says a $30,000 dollar licensing would be passed onto consumers– with cannabis prices going up.
Robert Moore, who founded the website WorldCannabis.net, was outside the story Wednesday afternoon, hours after the police visit.
He says the officers’ action here is heavy handed.
“I mean, you wouldn’t shut down a liquor store if someone got a hold of grandma’s booze, or you know, whatever. Talk to the parent, or talk to the owner or what not, maybe fine them.”
He says by getting the warrant and shutting down the store, police are disrupting a much-needed service, and messing around with peoples’ medicine.
The police department says it’s priority remains going after violent drug traffickers and those who prey on youth, but pot shops are still illegal and they will still respond to public concerns.
VPD Sergeant Randy Fincham says this store was singled out from the city’s other 85 dispensaries because police had evidence the operation was putting people at risk.
He says they don’t have the time or resources to deal with all the dispensaries operating illegally, so they go after what he calls the “tall nails” — those that stand out because of potentially dangerous operations.
Fincham adds police have not changed their approach to dispensaries since City Council moved ahead with regulating pot shops, nor since the Harper government denounced that move.
Last week, federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose wrote a letter to the City of Vancouver, telling it to refrain from regulating marijuana dispensaries and telling the VPD to keep enforcing the law.