Nanaimo RCMP say they’ve raided three marijuana dispensaries, after circulating “cease and desist” letters to 10 dispensaries on November 12.

The letters prompted the hasty formation of the Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition, which launched an aggressive lobbying effort to get City Council onside with the idea of Vancouver-style licensing and regulation.

RCMP aren’t saying anything beyond what’s included in a press release they sent out late this morning. It says police are acting on complaints from the public, including claims teens were sold marijuana, and that the shops were actively soliciting for clients.

They point out that dispensaries and compassion clubs exist outside the legal framework for medical marijuana, and the Nanaimo dispensaries were given fair warning.

RCMP aren’t confirming which shops were raided, but they say charges will be recommended and more investigations are underway.

“When I have reports of storefronts selling marijuana to youth and concerned community members approaching me about it, we are compelled to take enforcement action,” says Nanaimo RCMP Superintendent Mark Fisher. “Our approach has always been to address public concerns, consult our contracting partners, stakeholders and allow for our investigations to determine the way forward. That was done in this case. As these investigations will now be before the courts and other investigations are still underway, Nanaimo RCMP will not be commenting further on this issue.”