Two months after it was closed down by a police raid, the Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary has reopened in the same location under its original management.
Immediately following the July 19 visit by Langley RCMP officers, dispensary founder Randy Caine said someone else would have to take on the task of distributing medicinal marijuana.
But since then, Caine said, there have been encouraging signs of support in the community, enough for him to reopen.
“I’m not seeing the community batting an eye.”
A petition of support has raised more than 1,200 names so far, “a high level of support” in a small community like the City of Langley, Caine said.
The petition calls for a medical marijuana access “pilot project” in Langley like the safe injection site that operates in Vancouver.
Caine has still not been charged with a criminal offence in connection with the July raid.
“This is not a Criminal Code issue,” Caine said.
“It is, and remains, a Health Canada regulatory matter.”
He doesn’t expect another police raid.
“It would be something I would find disturbing.”
In previous interviews, Caine said the dispensary was a response to a lack of legitimate sources of marijuana for Langley medicinal users.
He maintained that it reduced crime because legitimate patients didn’t have to buy from the criminal element, something the police should appreciate.
Langley RCMP said they raided Caine’s dispensary in response to “numerous ongoing complaints from the community and area residents.”
One of the complaints came from Langley City Councillor Rudy Storteboom, who owns an office next to the dispensary.
Storteboom went to Mayor Peter Fassbender after there was a break-in at Caine’s premises.
Both confirmed there was a discussion in which the councillor expressed concern about the dispensary to the mayor, and Fassbender advised Storteboom to take it up with the building strata council.
In a letter to The Times, Langley RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke said based on the dispensary website, Caine was not distributing pot according to federal Health Canada regulations.
Cooke said there were legal alternatives to a medical dispensary for “legitimately licensed individuals to obtain marijuana.”
He said patients can buy it from Health Canada or grow their own.
Photo: Randy Caine in the entry foyer of the Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary with manager Carol Gwilt.
Dan FERGUSON / Langley Times