B.C.'s former top cop Kash Heed a medical marijuana grow-op consultant
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The man responsible for shutting down hundreds of marijuana grow-ops in Vancouver and arresting record numbers of people in the city’s drug trade is now a security consultant for the burgeoning medical marijuana production industry.
Kash Heed, the former West Vancouver police chief, former commanding officer of the Vancouver police drug squad and former B.C. MLA and solicitor general, is working with a few Ontario and Lower Mainland companies as they vie to become licensed medical marijuana producers under the new federal regime, which kicked in April 1.
He’s advising the legal grow-ops on how to keep organized crime out.
“My job is to make sure the people that come forward to these companies with a considerable amount of money, that the money’s clean,” Heed said in an interview. “It’s all around having an organization that cannot be infiltrated by organized crime, it’s all the aspects of ensuring the integrity of the organization.”
Heed’s clients cover his expenses, but he’s not making money from his new role.
“I’m not in it to make a quick dollar, I’m in it to change policy in Canada.”
Heed, who has advocated for ending marijuana prohibition since 2001, supports the new federal rules as a step to legalization.
“This is just one step to controlling the industry, removing organized crime from the industry, and getting ready for a legal framework for recreational adult use,” he said.
He “strongly believes” such a system will be in place in Canada within five years, regardless of who’s in power in Ottawa, due to legalization in places such as Colorado, Washington and Uruguay.
“The taxation dollars that are going to be generated from this industry, governments cannot turn a blind eye to it.”
Heed’s views on legalization stem from his decades as a police officer.
“We had all these record breaking arrests and were taking millions and millions of dollars of supply off the streets, and we weren’t making any difference at all,” he said. “What we started to see was more violence, consumption was up and supply was the same.”
Heed’s goal is to advocate for the industry and ensure its integrity is strong so municipalities, citizens and investors can be confident the legal market is responsible. He also wants to ensure the government gets the appropriate tax dollars as it moves towards a legal, commercialized market.
In his new role, he has met with officials from Uruguay, which legalized recreational marijuana use last week.