Superintendent Derek Cooke

Superintendent Derek Cooke

Top cop says Langley marijuana dispensary bought from illegal grow ops

Dispensary owner calls statement 'insulting,' says RCMP know better

An RCMP claim that the Langley medical marijuana dispensary obtained product from illegal pot growing operations has drawn a strongly-worded denial from the owner.

The charge was made in a written statement issued Tuesday (Oct. 26)  by Superintendent Derek Cooke, the officer in charge of the Langley RCMP detachment.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the drugs being sold at the dispensary came from illegal marijuana grow operations, and anyone who has been impacted by such an operation knows what a blight they have been on our community,” Cooke said.

The statement went on to refer to the “black market drug trade” without quoting Cooke directly.

Dispensary operator Randy Caine denies any involvement with the big grow ops that supply drug traffickers.

“That’s a bold-faced lie,” Caine said.

“I find this really insulting.”

The dispensary, Caine said, only bought from small “mom and pop” growers who signed exclusive contracts promising they would only grow for the dispensary.

The Superintendent is well aware of that, Caine said.

“I spent an hour and 45 minutes with Derek Cooke a year ago last August and I showed him all the paperwork.”

A copy of the contract provided to the Times shows the dispensary was paying growers $1800 a pound, an amount Caine says is well below black market rates.

On Tuesday, Caine, who is running for a seat on Langley City council, was charged with possession of a controlled substance in an amount exceeding three kilograms for the purpose of trafficking.

The charge related to the RCMP raid on the Langley dispensary on  July 19 when officers seized more than eight pounds of marijuana and what the RCMP release describes as “a large quantity of marijuana products, including cookies and candies.”

Caine shut down the dispensary after the raid, then re-opened it.

He shut it down a second time after he was charged Tuesday, saying police warned him he could go to jail if he didn’t.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 5 after the municipal election.

The RCMP press release said investigators believe a number of the dispensary customers were not licenced by Health Canada to use the drug.

“Marijuana is a very carefully regulated drug and the law does not allow for an individual to determine whom he or she believes should be able to buy it,” Cooke said.

“People with a legitimate medical need [can]  grow their own, or easily purchase the drug from the government’s licenced medical supplier and have it conveniently delivered to their door,” the RCMP superintendent added.