Nanaimo Mayor Says City Won’t Interfere with RCMP Dispensary Crackdown

Nanaimo’s mayor has said that while city hall didn’t request the RCMP to order local dispensaries to close, council also has no place to ask them to stop.

“Here we’re a funding agency for the RCMP and I don’t believe it’s our job to interfere with their activities,” said mayor Bill McKay. “We could certainly voice our opinions but will it have an influence on them? I don’t believe that it should.”

Last week, 10 dispensaries received a letter attributed to RCMP officer Rob Christenson, ordering them to shut down within seven days or they would be “subject to police enforcement including the arrest of all employees and patrons on site and the seizure of all offence related property from the premises.”

McKay is arranging a meeting between city council and the local RCMP to discuss the dispensary situation.

An RCMP spokesperson told Global News that, despite the Liberal government moving forward with legalization, they are simply enforcing the law.

“We are enforcing the laws as they exist today. The RCMP enforces the laws of Canada,” the message stated. “Cannabis/Marihuana is regulated as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) which prohibits the importation, exportation, trafficking, cultivation/production, and possession of it or its derivatives.”

Over the weekend, dispensary owners met to discuss the police action and have formed the Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition to try and push back against the shutdown orders.

The group will create a standard for sales in the city and plans to rally outside of the council meeting tonight at 7 p.m..