Rick Hanson spent four decades in policing — more than seven of those years as Calgary’s chief — where he made a career out of fighting organized crime and the local drug trade.
Nearly three years into his retirement, it may come as a surprise that he is now heavily involved in the cannabis industry.
But Hanson said Wednesday he is among a growing number of former senior police officers from across Canada who are leveraging their experiences to ensure legalization is done safely while eliminating criminals from the supply chain.
“There are a tonne of risks,” said Hanson, an adviser at the Canadian Cannabis Chamber of Commerce and a senior vice-president at Merrco, an online payment processing firm for marijuana sales.
“You just don’t go into the organized crime world and say, ‘Thank you very much, we’re doing this now,’ and they go, ‘Oh, OK; we’ll just find something else to do.’ ”