Mounties shut cannabis shop in Nanaimo

A Nanaimo pot shop has been shut down after RCMP suspected customers of selling illegal opioids inside the store.

Nanaimo RCMP raided the Limelife Society marijuana dispensary at 119 Nicol St. about 8 p.m. Thursday, acting on information that patrons were trafficking opioids, said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien.

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Two men were arrested and found to be in possession of eight purple tablets. The tablets will be sent for testing to determine if they contain fentanyl, O’Brien said.

The RCMP said when officers entered the Nicol Street business, 15 clients were inside consuming shatter, a marijuana concentrate, and other products derived from marijuana.

Police seized several pounds of marijuana, marijuana derivatives, edibles and about $17,000 in cash. A 28-year-old female employee was arrested.

RCMP shut down the business overnight as they collected evidence.

The premises were turned over on Friday morning to the landlord, who is co-operating with police.

The landlord told police the business would not be permitted to re-open, O’Brien said. Police have not yet spoken with the owner.

No one from Limelife Society responded to a request for comment Friday.

The employee was released after four hours in custody on a promise to appear in court on charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking. One of the men was released on a promise to appear in court to face charges of possession of a controlled substance.

Both are to appear in Nanaimo provincial court in February.

The other man was released without charge.

In December 2015, Limelife’s Nicol Street location shut down temporarily after Mounties raided three other dispensaries in Nanaimo. Nanaimo RCMP had told several dispensaries that they could shut down or be subject to search warrants.

About 15 cannabis dispensaries have operated in Nanaimo in the past two years, O’Brien said, about five of which have been shut down by police or have closed for business reasons.

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