Owners of Kelowna marijuana dispensary facing drug charges

"Although staff was present during the search, no arrests were made and prospective clients were simply turned away.

  • Jan. 16, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Kelowna RCMP seized over 12 pounds of pot this week from a medical marijuana shop.

The owners of a local ‘medical’ marijuana dispensary could face potential drug charges after police searched the premises and seized a large quantity of cannabis on Thursday afternoon.

After receiving complaints of a ‘Medical’ marijuana dispensary, members of the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Teams executed a search warrant on a business located on the 500 block of Lawrence Avenue, Jan. 15.

“Although staff was present during the search, no arrests were made and prospective clients were simply turned away,” said Const. Kris Clark. “Considering the nature of the business, investigators located a large quantity of marijuana products inside the store. In all, police seized approximately 12.5 lbs of dried marijuana, along with dozens of other marijuana derivatives and products including oils, tinctures, creams, hash, capsules, balms, teas, butters, honey, candies, cookies and more.”

The marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) came into effect on April 1 2014. The MMPR and its predecessor, the Medical marijuana Access Regulations (MMAR), provide the only legal means through which seriously ill Canadians, when supported by a physician, can obtain access to marijuana for medical purposes.

“Marijuana continues to be regulated as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which the RCMP has an obligation to investigate where grounds exist,” said Clark. “There is no legal mechanism available in Canada today, which allows for a self-described “medical marijuana dispensary” or “compassion club” to function.”

The investigation is ongoing.

The owners of the business could face potential charges of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. No arrests have yet been made and charges will be recommended in consultation with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

The RCMP supports efforts to ensure those permitted by law to have access to marijuana for medical purposes do have that access. The MMAR/MMPR does not provide blanket legality to produce, use, or traffic marijuana, and the RCMP will continue to enforce the laws of Canada with respect to marijuana.

All inquiries relating to medicinal marijuana production and use should be directed to Health Canada.

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