Article by Mike Lloyd, News 1130
A questionable group of illegal pot dispensaries with connections to West Vancouver seems to have shut its doors in Ottawa after a media investigation revealed some shady practices.
The story was first uncovered by one of our colleagues at VICE.
Manisha Krishnan looked into everything from slippery name changes to mouldy product to exploitation of young, low-paid store workers left to face raids and legal problems. “They were forced to sell weed that was actually contaminated. A lot of the photos I had showed mould, one had a maggot in it and another had a nail. They basically told me that the owners of the dispensary chain — all they really cared about — was making a profit.”
The chain — believed to be owned by a group with connections to Metro Vancouver — goes by the name Green Tree, WeeMedical, CannaGreen, Herbal Leaf, and WeeCare Med, and has since apparently all but shut down in Ottawa, according to Krishnan. “[They have] a $6 million mansion in the British properties. These are people who have a lot of money and would probably not have a huge issue hiring a really great defence.”
SFU Criminologist Neil Boyd suggests we shouldn’t paint all dispensaries with same brush. “In Vancouver, at any rate, most of the dispensaries are making attempts to regulate. [Vancouver] City Councillor Kerry Jang has indicated that he thinks there is progress that things are moving along well towards legalization.”