Burnaby RCMP has shut down an unlicensed dispensary that was selling “cannabis products, magic mushrooms (psilocybin), and suspected MDMA”.
Officers say they were contacted about the business by a concerned community member in mid-February, following the alleged purchase of cannabis from the store by a teenager.
The business, located near Hastings Street and Beta Avenue, had signage indicating it was a tattoo studio, but police say it was operating without a business license and was set up as a drug dispensary inside.
Members of Burnaby RCMP’s Community Response Team (CRT), with assistance from Burnaby bylaw officers, executed a search warrant at the location on February 18.
Officers seized the cannabis products, psilocybin, and suspected MDMA and the store has been shut down.
“It is of particular concern to our officers and to the community that an underage teenager was allegedly able to purchase drugs from this location”, said Cpl. Mike Kalanj with Burnaby RCMP. “The purchase and use of illegal and unregulated drugs creates serious health and safety risks. This is particularly worrisome when youth are involved.”
Burnaby is home to only one legal, licensed cannabis store, a BC Cannabis Store on Kingsway Ave, around 10km from the location of this unlicensed business.
Burnaby’s regulations allow for one government store in each of the city’s four town centres: Metrotown, Edmonds, Lougheed, and Brentwood.
In June of 2020, Burnaby city council approved two new commercial zones that would allow government-run pot shops, and also made space for private stores. However, no such stores have yet to be approved.