Vancouver police seizes guns, psilocybin, cannabis in illicit store raid

| Staff

Vancouver Police are investigating after firearms were located during an inspection of an unlicensed cannabis store by the Province’s Community Safety Unit (CSU) in June 9.

The BC CSU is responsible for compliance and enforcement under BC’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA), with a focus on the illegal sale of cannabis. 

“The Community Safety Unit has the authority to enter premises where cannabis is being sold without a provincial retail store licence and take enforcement action, including seizing cannabis,” says Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “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. The unlicensed sale of cannabis is illegal.”

The name of the business has not yet been released. Officers from VPD’s Organized Crime Section and patrol assisted investigators from the CSU during an inspection of an unlicensed cannabis business located near Clarke Drive and William Street on June 9. While conducting their inspection, CSU investigators say they discovered two handguns. VPD’s Organized Crime Unit obtained a search warrant to seize the weapons.

“Knowing these illegal weapons are in shops around the city is definitely concerning and it poses a risk to the public,” adds Constable Visintin.

A large volume of cannabis oils, cannabis topicals and cannabis edibles were seized with an estimated retail value of $50,000-$60,000.

In addition to the cannabis products, CSU located approximately 25 pounds of dried Psilocybin (mushrooms), approximately 75 pounds of Psilocybin infused edible products and hundreds of individually packaged Psilocybin powder mixed with nutrition supplements. The estimated retail value is $100,000.

A 35-year-old man was arrested and has been released pending further investigation.

The investigation is ongoing.

The CSU, under the Policing and Security Branch of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is responsible for compliance and enforcement under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

The BC government recently shared the results of testing of cannabis seized from six different unlicensed Vancouver area cannabis retailers. The pilot project, which is expected to be ongoing, tested 20 different samples of cannabis flowers seized, showing high levels of pesticides and other impurities like mould.

In a recent question period in a BC house MLA Greg Kyllo asked BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth about the recent proliferation of stores selling psilocybin products. Minister Farnworth said this would be an issue for law enforcement.