RCMP said they seized approximately 100 pounds of marijuana and marijuana edibles after executing a search warrant at a marijuana dispensary in Okanagan Falls on Wednesday.
The Penticton RCMP’s Targeted Enforcement Unit arrived with a search warrant in hand to Herbal Green Apothecary in Okanagan Falls, located at 936 Main St., taking one male into custody.
Const. Kyle Richmond, of the Targeted Enforcement Unit, said the warrant and seizure of cannabis product from Herbal Green is a result of contraventions of the Controlled Substance Act.
A news release sent out by RCMP on Wednesday stated that the RCMP Targeted Enforcement Team executed the search warrant and took a male into custody. Police said they located several pounds of marijuana and marijuana edibles. Police were taking boxes and bags of product from the store early Wednesday afternoon. A police truck was seen by the Western News pulling into the back of the building before officers closed a rolling garage door.
Const. James Grandy said the investigation confirmed the dispensary was operating without a license to sell marijuana and that anyone from the general public could purchase the drug without any medical note. He added that Health Canada states there is no legal method of selling the drug at a storefront. It may only be distributed to patients who acquire a medical license and order it through the mail.
“No storefront is legally able to sell marijuana products to the general public. The marijuana seized from this dispensary was openly sold to anyone who walked into the store, regardless if they had a medical use license or not. There are legal methods of obtaining the drug, which don’t require people to walk into a non-licensed establishment,” said Grandy.
The seizure included a large quantity of various THC infused products, RCMP said of particular concern was the edible products that were displayed.
“Written on some of the packaging seized were the words, ‘The best high you’ve ever had.’ This is clearly not marketed toward those in medical need to use,” said Grandy.
Const. Richmond said the investigation into the cannabis business had only been going on for a few weeks. The RCMP said they will continue monitoring and investigating similar non-legal dispensaries within the region, making their way further north from Okanagan Falls.
Owner Jukka Laurio opened the Herbal Green Apothecary Jan. 11, 2018 after closing down his Penticton location.
In March, the City of Penticton won a $15,000 fine and a court order against Laurio calling it the largest fine in B.C. against a cannabis dispensary.
Laurio said the city’s push for him to apply for a wellness centre business licence that would allow him to sell marijuana accessories but not cannabis products was why he decided to move his business to Okanagan Falls.
In the court order that the City Of Penticton won, Laurio was ordered not to operate a store that involves cannabis or products related to cannabis, nor run any website or social media account that offers or sells cannabis products in the city.
The Western News attempted to contact Laurio, but did not receive a response by press deadline.