Police are investigating a fire at a DTES cannabis dispensing truck

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dated: 2022-11-19 19:29:02 .

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The fire left unlicensed Healing Wave dispensary operator Neil Magnuson out in the cold, handing out high-dose TCH edibles.

Neil Magnuson in his tent. The van from which he dispensed cannabis was set on fire. Now he is forced to operate from a tent. Photo by Francis Georgian /PNG

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A fire that destroyed a mobile home that distributed free cannabis to Downtown Eastside residents is suspicious, authorities say.

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Matthew Trudeau, a spokesman for Vancouver Fire Rescue, says investigators suspect arson and have asked police to help with the investigation.

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Within two minutes of receiving the call at 7:25 p.m. Sunday, firefighters from the DTES fire hall at East Cordova and Main Street arrived on the scene to find the 40-year-old vehicle on fire.

“Empty cars just don’t ignite on their own,” Trudeau told Postmedia News on Friday. “There was no one inside who could have accidentally lit it with a lighter or a match – that raises the suspicion.”

Vancouver police are now investigating, Const. Tania Visintin confirmed this on Friday.

The fire resulted in Neil Magnuson, operator of the unlicensed Healing Wave dispensary, handing out high doses of TCH edibles to 268 members of the Outdoor Cannabis Exchange Project. He says he’s been handing out high-dose edibles for the past five years to distract residents from contaminated illicit opioids, which are causing more deaths than ever before.

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“We are very vulnerable right now, the tent we are working under is not safe or sustainable for too long,” he said.

Lines form every few days for a free shipment of edibles packed with 420 milligrams of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

“It’s going to be difficult to continue this, but we have to because otherwise people in the DTES would be seriously affected,” Magnuson said.

The dispensary also sells other cannabis products at a fraction of the price of regulated weed, as a list of unlicensed growers regularly donate to its cause.

However, the company recently got Magnuson into trouble. On May 11, Vancouver police arrested him in his RV and seized his stash of cannabis. Now he must answer in the district court for drug trafficking.

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The long-time cannabis advocate wants to be able to legally offer the drug by obtaining a state exemption from Canadian law, but has yet to hear back from Health Canada after filing a request two years ago.

“We test all the cannabis that comes in, cookies, cookies… there was no problem.”

A few weeks before fire destroyed Magnuson’s RV Pharmacy, it became the target of crime.

“It was broken into several times with the side window broken,” he said. “When we confronted someone who crawled through at 2am the next day, they ran and shouted they were going to set fire.”

As a result, Magnuson removed his stash of cannabis from the parked vehicle.

He says his biggest challenge right now is finding a new location for Healing Wave to start the business.

A previous change to provincial cannabis regulations that included new penalties for owners of unlicensed cannabis dealers resulted in his dispensary being removed from the DTES trade in October 2020.

It’s been stressful and exhausting for a long time, I’m doing my best to stay positive, he said.

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Police are investigating a fire at a DTES cannabis dispensing truck

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Source https://canadatoday.news/ca/police-are-investigating-the-fire-that-engulfed-the-dtes-cannabis-dispensing-truck-154559/

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