Monica Lamb-Yorski photo                                Mary Jane’s Glass and Gifts manager Mark Cowan is busy with business despite facing charges of possession and trafficking under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act.
Bad Video Embed Code

Monica Lamb-Yorski photo Mary Jane’s Glass and Gifts manager Mark Cowan is busy with business despite facing charges of possession and trafficking under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act.

VIDEO: Manager of thriving marijuana store faces charges

Mary Jane’s Glass and Gifts manager Mark Cowan said he is surpised charges of drug-trafficking and possession against him have been approved.

Six months after seizing a quantity of marijuana, Williams Lake RCMP announced Tuesday charges have been approved against the manager and a former employee of Mary Jane’s Glass and Gifts.

Mary Jane’s, which is located on Oliver Street in downtown Williams Lake, was stripped of its inventory in April following a search and seizure by police.

Mark Cowan faces one charge of trafficking a controlled substance contrary to section 5(1) of the Canadian Drug and Substance Act (CDSA) and one of possession for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 5(2) of the CDSA.

Chris Hoyland has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

From behind the counter of his thriving business, Cowan said he was surprised by both the police raid in April and the approval of charges this week.

“Medicinal cannabis will probably change the medical industry as we know it in the next 10 years,” he said. “We can see Pfizer and Merck all looking at this medicine, it is for real and is going to revolutionalize the industry. We are a medicinal cannabis place and everything that comes out of these doors has always been medicinal product.”

Shelves and display cases inside the store were fully stocked Wednesday afternoon.

There was a steady stream of customers being buzzed in the store’s locked front door.

Many strains of cannabis sold in the Williams Lake store are grown in the Cariboo, Cowan said.

“Product is sent to a central location in Vancouver for testing and weighing before coming back to our store.”

Cowan and his growers have even capitalized on the summer’s wildfires, carrying a new product called Smoky Jack.

Reaching inside one of the display cases Cowan pulled out a plastic box, lifted the lid and insisted it had a smoky aroma.

“Smoky Jack acquired its name after being exposed to the smoke caused by wildfires in B.C.,” Cowan said.

Cowan’s next scheduled court appearance is inWilliams Lake Provincial Court on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 9 a.m.

Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley said Williams Lake RCMP continue to target drug trafficking offences.

“We take this very seriously and are committed to seeking evidence to support charges and hold people accountable who actively participate in these types of offences.”

After the raid in April and again this week, Pelley said the RCMP recognizes the current complexities surrounding the potential for future legislative changes, but are guided by the existing laws and legislation.

On Sept. 25, B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth invited British Columbians to share their views on the legalization of non-medicinal cannabis in Canada by filling out an online survey between now and Nov. 1, which can be found at www.engage.gov.bc.ca/BCcannabisregulation/.

“We want to hear from as many people as possible about how we can best protect our kids, keep our roads safe, and lock criminals out of the non-medical cannabis industry,” Farnworth said. “It’s critical that we work together to ensure the legalization of non-medical cannabis results in safer, healthier communities.”

Cowan said he is pleased with the survey and has already filled it out.

“I think the government really wants our input,” he added.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water levels in the Duteau Creek storage reservoirs are currently well below normal, according to a Greater Vernon Water spring water supply update Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (RDNO photo)
Water levels currently ‘well below normal’ in Greater Vernon reservoirs

Greater Vernon Water also says there’s a high chance of below-normal spring precipitation this year

The Slavic Christians of Evangelical Faith is one of three North Okanagan churches to sign a Liberty Coalition Canada petition calling for the end of religious gathering restrictions amid COVID-19. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Trio of North Okanagan churches oppose bans on religious gatherings

Three local churches have signed a Liberty Coalition Canada petition supporting religious gatherings

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Somewhere in the pack being celebrated by his teammates is Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli, who scored in overtime Wednesday afternoon, April 14, to give the Snakes a 6-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in B.C. Hockey League pod play at Kal Tire Place. (Liza Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers bite Salmon Arm Silverbacks in OT

Snakes blow 5-3 third-period lead, rally in extra time for 6-5 pod play result over rivals

This is what a new city hall in Armstrong will look like if tender bids come in under $4 million. Council unanimously approved the design and the borrowing of up to $4 million for the project. (MQN Architects)
Armstrong approves designs for new city hall

Council approves borrowing bylaw up to $4M; selects wood-first design to fit scheme with arena, swimming pool

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

A Keremeos family lost their home after a fire shortly before midnight on April 13. No injuries were reported. (Contributed)
Keremeos home destroyed in late-night fire

The family inside was unharmed

Naloxone
Op/Ed: Interior Health CEO speaks on five years of strides and challenges in overdose crisis

In 2020, close to 4,000 people across IH had access to opioid medications

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

New parking meters have been installed on Main Street, Ellis Street, Front Street, Nanaimo Avenue and Padmore Avenue in Penticton. (City of Penticton photo)
Pay parking now in effect in downtown Penticton

A spot downtown will now cost you $2 per hour

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department, photo from Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page
The Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department. (Facebook)
South Okanagan fire crews battle two blazes one-after-another

The two fires were likely caused by discarded cigarettes according to the fire department

Most Read