Mission RCMP bust Deroche pot dispensary

Rally planned for Saturday in support of couple who volunteered to run the medical marijuana compassion club.

Bob Woolsey doesn’t understand why Mission RCMP have targeted his medical marijuana facility in Deroche.

The 64-year-old and his 57-year-old wife Dawn Parker were taken into custody by the RCMP on Nov. 25 after police raided their home, trailer and several other structures.

Woolsey said he and his wife are the volunteer managers of the BC Pain Society’s Compassion Club in Deroche.

The couple opened the club on Feb. 1 and have about 400 clients, all of whom have medical marijuana prescriptions.

He said the raid was a shock.

“At approximately 9 a.m., at least 12 armed and vested RCMP arrived at my country home with warrants.”

During the takedown, Woolsey said he and his wife were handcuffed and transported to “individual, concrete, ice-cold cells in Mission RCMP headquarters.”

He called the conditions deplorable for people of his age.

Woolsey said RCMP seized hundreds of items, including two used vehicles, vending machines, a juicer, cash, communication devices, laptops, computers and other items.

He said police also took his “legal medical cannabis grow.”

Woolsey, who suffers from chronic pain, has had a prescription for cannabis for 10 years.

He said he now no longer has the medication for his pain and neither do his clients.

“This is a pretty strange situation. If this was 1975 I would have believed it, but it’s 2015 and I can’t believe they’ve done this,” he said.

When the club first opened, Woolsey said, despite it being illegal, he was assured by the RCMP that the club would be tolerated as long as he “stuck to a strict criteria of patient intake.”

He said he has not sold anything to minors or anyone who didn’t have a medical permit.

But after the raid, Woolsey said he was told by police that an anonymous tip was received claiming that the club was selling the new, addictive drug “shatter,” which he calls a “cannabis concentrate.”

According to a Mission RCMP press release, the police were acting on complaints from the public, and an investigation was initiated earlier this year.

“The investigation revealed that marijuana and marijuana derivatives were being illegally produced at the residential property and sold at a commercial premise on Lougheed Highway which was being operated as a marijuana dispensary.”

The release went on to say the police seized a significant amount of marijuana and marijuana derivatives, including a quantity of shatter.

Mission RCMP Sgt. Shaun Wright said the “trafficking of controlled substances including marijuana is currently illegal in Canada and until such time as that changes, we will investigate those incidents as such.”

While no charges have been filed, Wright said that situation could soon change.

“The investigation is still ongoing and I would suspect a report to Crown counsel requesting charges would occur withing the next month or two.”

Clients of the compassion club are organizing a support rally for Woolsey, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 5 at noon at the clubhouse (41689 Lougheed Highway) in Deroche.

“I am completely committed to these products as medicine and I’m completely committed to re-open our store,” said Woolsey.