BC Judge seeks to send a strong deterrent to those operating in the black market

| Staff

A BC Judge has fined a man found guilty of helping to operate an illicit cannabis delivery service in the Whistler area.

The Judge wrote in her reason for judgement that she issued the $6,000 fine and 240 hours of community service to deter others from believing there is any “grey area” around the country’s cannabis laws. 

This, combined with the seizure of the vehicle and motor home that were used as part of the delivery service and estimated to be worth over $10,000, was seen as enough to serve as a deterrent for others continuing to operate in the black market, noted the Judge. 

“There is a need to strongly discourage the “black market” for cannabis products through the penalties imposed by the Courts under the (Cannabis) Act,” wrote Judge Joanne Challenger.

“The nature of the offence before the Court undermines the legislated aims of Parliament to regulate and control the safe production and taxable distribution of cannabis products. Such a scheme also undermines legitimate businesses which must operate as “brick and mortar” retail establishments and amounts to unfair competition for those who invested in obtaining the necessary licenses (sic) and permits to operate those retail outlets.” 

The man fined, Simon Letellier, first pled guilty on March 2, 2022, to one count of unlawfully possessing cannabis, and one count of unlawfully possessing cannabis solids, for the purpose of selling it.

Letellier’s arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation that looked at the sale and delivery of cannabis products to its consumers in the Whistler, BC area through a business called “CBD Delivery”. 

The investigation documented Letellier operating four vehicles used to conduct the cannabis product delivery business. Over the course of the spring of 2021, the vehicles and their drivers were under surveillance as they conducted suspected transactions with customers and spaces used to store products, including an Econoline van owned and lived in by Letellier.

Upon his arrest outside his Econoline van, police seized cannabis products and equipment with an estimated value of $64,333.00. This included individually packaged dried cannabis, packaged cannabis pre-rolls, various CBD gummies and oils, cannabis-infused sugar for making edibles, and “numerous edibles named as, and packaged to appear to be, popular brands of candy marketed to children.”

The judge also noted that other such delivery services that continue to operate in the same region helped highlight how lucrative such businesses are and emphasized the need to “impose denunciatory and deterrent penalties sufficient to send a strong message condemning such conduct.”  

The URL for cbddeliverywhislter.com, which is still available on Facebook, redirected to www.weeddeliverywhistler.com in an archived post from November 2021, which still operates with the same products and imagery.