Pot store posed as medical clinic in Chilliwack

Police say a storefront selling marijuana and marijuana products was illegal and a dangerous fire risk.

Inside the lab shut down by Chilliwack RCMP Wednesday.

Inside the lab shut down by Chilliwack RCMP Wednesday.

A pot store raided in downtown Chilliwack last week was posing as a medical marijuana clinic.

Be Kind Medical Clinic opened last Monday on Yale Road near Five Corners and took officials  by surprise before it was shut down completely a couple days later.

“I can’t comment on the intention of this operation or why it was presented in a nefarious manner,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “We took action as soon as we received the information.”

A no-occupancy order was issued for the building soon after the police raid on Wednesday unearthed bags of marijuana and equipment for making pot oil and other products.

The storefront operation had been advertised online as a ‘compassion club’ for medical marijuana licence holders, claiming doctors and a pharmacist would be on-site.

Within two days drug charges including possession for the purposes of trafficking, and trafficking were pending for a 41-year-old Abbotsford man who was arrested at the site.

Police executed a search warrant and seized between four and five pounds of bud at the storefront location.

Investigators said it appeared the extracted pot oils were being used in food production which included chocolate, lollipops, and edible hashish. Some had been packaged for re-sale.

“Ultimately, the business was being operated under the guise of a medicinal marihuana compassion club where marihuana, marihuana oils, and related products were being offered for sale,” said RCMP Cpl. Kurt Bosnell.

There was no indication on the paperwork that part of the plan was to start a “compassion club” for medical marijuana licensees, but the words “healthcare/medicine” were listed by the applicant on the business licence form.

“If they had mentioned their true intent, we would have researched it and told them it was illegal,” Gaetz said.

Now the landlord and owner of the storefront building will be left “holding the bag,” she said.

“The business was not licensed by Health Canada to distribute or sell marihuana to the public and was found to be an illegal marihuana trafficking operation that was operating as a storefront business,” said Cpl. Bosnell.

The city is also in the process of stripping the venture of its business licence.

“We will have to make sure the building is safe first,” Gaetz said.

Almost pure Isopropyl alcohol was found in the lab, and the oil extraction process is “extremely” dangerous.

“We’re just lucky we didn’t have an explosion,” she said.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com