Pubdate: Thu, 16 Feb 2017
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Chris Bush


Police cite parents' concerns over health and safety

Nanaimo Mounties have closed a marijuana dispensary that opened next
door to a children's daycare centre.

Leaf Labs Medical Cannabis Services, at 679 Terminal Ave., was shut
down Monday, three days after it opened, when police checked the
business and allegedly observed evidence they believe contravened
Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The dispensary was closed and secured until a search warrant was
granted to search the premises.Police seized about 0.7 kilograms of

A 24-year-old man, allegedly operating the dispensary, was arrested
for possession for the purpose of trafficking and released later that
day on a promise to appear in Nanaimo provincial court July 10.

The dispensary was brought to the RCMP's attention because of its
location directly next door to the Kidz Kompany daycare centre.

Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police had warned
the dispensary owner and building landlord they had received
complaints from the community, social media and parents of children
attending the daycare.

"We told them that it's not acceptable to have a dispensary next to a
licensed daycare. We said, 'if you continue to operate you could be
looking at enforcement action,' and that's exactly what we did,"
O'Brien said.

There is no legal mechanism in Canada allowing medicinal marijuana
dispensaries or compassion clubs to sell marijuana to the public,
regardless of whether the purchasers and vendors are licensed to
possess or produce marijuana.

"It is shut down and if they choose to reopen they could be subject to
the same enforcement action,"O'Brien said.

There are 11 other marijuana dispensaries operating in Nanaimo, which
O'Brien said could also face enforcement action, but have not, so far,
because Nanaimo RCMP were focused on the fentanyl crisis and
prioritized resources to disrupt the drug's distribution networks.

Police now have the resources and time to dedicate to marijuana
dispensaries, he said.

Melissa Burke, the daycare centre owner, said the health and
well-being of the children in her daycare is the primary concern for
her and the children's families and she is concerned about the
possibility of some dispensary customers smoking marijuana immediately
outside the premises.

"It's not the right place for that business to operate and that is
what we're all worried about," Burke said.

Nanaimo RCMP Supt. Cameron Miller said, in a press release, the
investigation remains active and the RCMP sets enforcement priorities
through ongoing consultation with local government,municipal partners,
citizens and RCMP in B.C.
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