Pubdate: Fri, 29 Sep 2017
Source: Williams Lake Tribune, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Williams Lake Tribune
Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski
Page: A1


Six months after seizing a quantity of marijuana, Williams Lake RCMP
announced Tuesday charges have been approved against the manager and a
former employee of Mary Jane's Glass and Gifts.

Mary Jane's, which is located on Oliver Street in downtown Williams
Lake, was stripped of its inventory in April following a search and
seizure by police.

Mark Cowan faces one charge of trafficking a controlled substance
contrary to section 5(1) of the Canadian Drug and Substance Act (CDSA)
and one of possession for the purpose of trafficking contrary to
section 5(2) of the CDSA.

Chris Hoyland has been charged with possession for the purpose of

>From behind the counter of his thriving business, Cowan said he was
surprised by both the police raid in April and the approval of charges
this week.

"Medicinal cannabis will probably change the medical industry as we
know it in the next 10 years," he said. "We can see Pfizer and Merck
all looking at this medicine, it is for real and is going to
revolutionalize the industry. We are a medicinal cannabis place and
everything that comes out of these doors has always been medicinal

Shelves and display cases inside the store were fully stocked
Wednesday afternoon.

There was a steady stream of customers being buzzed in the store's
locked front door.

Many strains of cannabis sold in the Williams Lake store are grown in
the Cariboo, Cowan said.

"Product is sent to a central location in Vancouver for testing and
weighing before coming back to our store."

Cowan and his growers have even capitalized on the summer's wildfires,
carrying a new product called Smoky Jack.

Reaching inside one of the display cases Cowan pulled out a plastic
box, lifted the lid and insisted it had a smoky aroma.

"Smoky Jack acquired its name after being exposed to the smoke caused
by wildfires in B.C.," Cowan said.

Cowan's next scheduled court appearance is in Williams Lake Provincial
Court on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 9 a.m.

Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley said Williams Lake RCMP continue
to target drug trafficking offences.

"We take this very seriously and are committed to seeking evidence to
support charges and hold people accountable who actively participate
in these types of offences."

After the raid in April and again this week, Pelley said the RCMP
recognizes the current complexities surrounding the potential for
future legislative changes, but are guided by the existing laws and

On Sept. 25, B.C.'s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Mike Farnworth invited British Columbians to share their views on the
legalization of non-medicinal cannabis in Canada by filling out an
online survey between now and Nov. 1, which can be found at

"We want to hear from as many people as possible about how we can best
protect our kids, keep our roads safe, and lock criminals out of the
non-medical cannabis industry," Farnworth said. "It's critical that we
work together to ensure the legalization of non-medical cannabis
results in safer, healthier communities."

Cowan said he is pleased with the survey and has already filled it

"I think the government really wants our input," he added.
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