There were five Langley RCMP officers, all wearing “flak jackets,” Randy Caine said.
The owner and operator of the “Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary” was raided Tuesday afternoon (July 19).
The officers removed all of the marijuana from the premises during their 4 p.m. visit, but made no arrests, Caine told The Times.
Caine said the seizure has deprived his clients of access to marijuana for chronic pain and other medical conditions.
“I see this as a theft,” Caine said.
“Their medication has been stolen.”
The Mounties had a warrant that had been faxed from the Chilliwack provincial court shortly before the officers arrived.
It said police were authorized to search for evidence of “possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking,” language that Caine called “ludicrous.”
“They [the RCMP] were fully aware of what I’m doing,” he said.
He said he personally informed Supt. Derek Cooke, head of the Langley RCMP, of his intentions 11 months ago.
“[He told me] you know you’re taking a risk,” Caine said.
Not just the police were notified, Caine said, so were the City and Township business licence departments and other government agencies.
“We have an HST number,” Caine said. “I have WorkSafe.”
Caine said the dispensary has been operating three-and-a-half months, selling marijuana at $5 per gram plus a $1 dispensing fee.
“Pretty much half the street prices,” Caine said.
None of the pot he sells is “black market” or produced by a criminal organization, Caine added.
The issue, the well-known marijuana activist said, is the number of clients a licensed medical marijuana dispensary like his may serve.
He says his dispensary serves more than the limit of two.
“I do in fact supply many more than that.”
Caine was operating the dispensary from a sleek professional-looking office in the second floor of a new Langley City office building.
He said the premises are fully alarmed and clients were required to make appointments.
Langley RCMP issued a statement Friday noting that the dispensary was located in a “mixed residential and commercial” building.
“As a result of receiving numerous ongoing complaints from the community and area residents, police began an investigation into these complaints,” the statement said.
Approximately five to 10 pounds of different strains of marijuana were seized and an assortment of “edible products” was also seized, the RCMP said.
“These dispensaries are not legal and are not legally authorized by any authority or legislation in Canada, to distribute marijuana,” they added.
The Mounties said a decision to lay charges will be up to the Crown prosecutor’s office once it has received the police report.
The 57-year-old Caine is no stranger to struggles with the authorities.
When he opened his Hempyz novelty store in downtown Langley, the City first refused him a business licence, but later backed down and changed the law to allow it.
Caine also clashed with the city of Surrey when he owned and operated The Joint coffee house in Surrey.
Surrey council denied Caine a business licence for the entire 18 months his shop operated from 1995 to 1997.
Caine, who was born and raised in Surrey, was also the Marijuana Party candidate for Surrey-Panorama Ridge in the 2001 provincial election, garnering less than three per cent of the vote.
He also waged a lengthy court battle to repeal Canada’s Criminal Code ban on marijuana, arguing that it violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Caine launched the constitutional challenge — which made it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada — after being arrested in White Rock with a joint that weighed 0.5 grams.
Ultimately the court ruled against him.