Williams Lake dispensary raided twice by RCMP, still open for business

Williams Lake dispensary raided twice by RCMP, still open for business

A Williams Lake marijuana dispensary isn't letting two police raids get in the way of business.

Mary Jane's Glass and Gifts in Williams Lake was raided for over two kilograms of pot and a "large sum of cash" April 3, according to local RCMP.

It's the second time in a year the shop has been raided.

Three people were arrested in the most recent raid, and police are pursuing drug trafficking charges.

Store manager Mark Cowan was among those arrested, and — for the second time since last April — decided to reopen the store just days after it was raided.

"I have people who really depend on what I do," said Cowan, speaking of his medical patients. "They don't have other options — I have to be here for people, so that's why I keep opening my doors."

The dispensary was first raided in April 2017 following an investigation into suspected marijuana trafficking. After the raid, Cowan was one of two people charged with drug trafficking.

According to Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, police have a duty to clamp down on unlicensed marijuana distribution.

"Right now, the RCMP enforces the law in Canada," Saunderson told CBC News.

"At this point in time, marijuana possession, trafficking, etc. is illegal," she added. "That may change in the future, but right now, when the police are presented with evidence to support illegal activity, then they're certainly going to pursue that venture."

Marijuana is expected to be legalized across Canada later this year.

Community support

Mark Cowan will appear in B.C. Supreme Court in Williams Lake in October to defend himself from charges stemming from the first raid.

"It is a possibility that they might raid me again," he said. "For me, in my heart of hearts, I know what I'm doing is the right thing. I have legal scholars backing me up."

"Just because one entity says you're not doing the right thing, I still have a chance to make my argument in court. I haven't been able to make that argument in court yet," he added.

"I have a whole community behind me."