Article by Maryse Zeidler, CBC News
Cannabis vendors in Vancouver have returned to Robson Square despite a police raid Sunday night that resulted in arrests and the seizure of their products.
“Bring it on,” says vendor Colton Mulvale, who was selling dried marijuana under a pop-up tent Tuesday afternoon.
Mulvale and a small group of self-proclaimed cannabis activists say they will continue to openly sell dried and edible cannabis products despite the risk of arrest.
They say they’re helping those who need cannabis by providing affordable dried marijuana and by selling edible cannabis, which isn’t available in the city’s licensed dispensaries.
The vendors set up shop barely two hours after Vancouver police held a media conference to outline the steps they are taking against the vendors.
Deputy Chief Const. Howard Chow with Vancouver police said officers have arrested four people on 11 charges of drug possession and trafficking, and they have plans to arrest a fifth person.
“It’s evolved significantly over the last number of months. This has required us to step up enforcement,” Chow said.
“What we were starting to see was a larger quantity being sold, reports of hard drugs being offered such as cocaine, reports of marijuana being offered to teenagers.”
Chow said officers seized:
- More than nine pounds of dried marijuana.
- 23 pounds of edible cannabis.
- More than $4,000 in cash.
- A baseball bat, pipe and baton.
- Used drug paraphernalia including scales, bongs, and grinders.
Officers have been monitoring the situation at Robson Square for several weeks under what Chow called “Project Apprentice.”Police say the four vendors who were arrested have been released under the condition not to be found back in the 800-block of Robson Street, but police added that one person was arrested yesterday for breaching the conditions.
Chow warned that undercover police officers are regularly patrolling the area.
“For any of the traffickers, your next sale may be to a police officer,” he said. “We’re going to sustain the [police] activity on this.”