Pubdate: Thu, 07 Apr 2016
Source: Chilliwack Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Chilliwack Times
Author: Paul J. Henderson


Just 18 days after opening its doors, Chilliwack's first medical 
marijuana dispensary is shuttered, raided by police Tuesday evening.

Even before it opened on March 19, WeeMedical Dispensary was warned 
by City of Chilliwack lawyers it was violating business licence and 
zoning bylaws.

Fines of $1,000 a day were levied to the society behind the 
dispensary, and $500 a day each to the building's two owners.

And at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the store was raided by RCMP officers, 
manager Shayli Vere was arrested and brought to cells.

"They said they were arresting me but let me go," Vere told the Times 
Wednesday morning. "I meditated in my cell."

Chilliwack RCMP issued a press release late Wednesday about the raid. 
Police received tips that marijuana was being sold out of the 
building, and the Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) started conducting 
surveillance of the address as they covertly gathered evidence in 
their investigation leading up to the search.

"Chilliwack CRU officers are continuing to pursue their CDSA 
investigation of the transactions conducted by the store's 
proprietors," RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said. "After a 
thorough investigation has been completed, the evidence collected 
will be reviewed by investigators to determine whether police will be 
submitting all circumstances of the investigation in a report to 
Federal Crown Counsel for their assessment of Controlled Drug and 
Substance Act charges."

WeeMedical Dispensary Society board member May Joan Liu said she was 
shocked they were raided, and that had never happened at any of the 
society's nine other dispensaries.

"I'm really surprised because a lot of the time the municipalities, 
even the RCMP, said they really like the way we run our stores," Liu 
told the Times from her home in West Vancouver. "I'm really, really shocked."

She added that there was not much marijuana on site, "maybe a couple 
pounds," and some cash that was seized.

Asked if that was it for WeeMedical's foray into Chilliwack, Liu said "no."

"It's not going to be 'that's it,'" she said. "We didn't come in to 
test the water, we came in to stay. . . . We are going to be reopening."

She said the society has a lawyer and plans to fight the matter.

Vere, on the other hand, is out of WeeMedical's plans. She complained 
to the Times Wednesday that she felt hung out to dry by Liu.

"May and I have split ways as she has proven to me that the money is 
her concern, not the people or her staff," Vere said.

Liu responded by saying she did not want to say anything bad about 
Vere, but that Vere "marches to her own beat" and didn't follow protocols.

In a message to friends on social media, Vere told people to let city 
hall and the police know "what you think of paying for nine armed 
RCMP with bulletproof vests raiding just little me. I co-operated."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom