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(Updated 7 a.m., Nov. 5)
Orléans medical marijuana dispensary raided, employee arrested

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The CanaGreen medical marijuana dispensary was raided Friday morning and an employee arrested as part of a city-wide crackdown on so called 'pot shops'. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The CannaGreen medical marijuana dispensary on St-Joseph Blvd. was raided on Friday as part of a city-wide crackdown against the illegal businesses which have been popping up since last spring.

Five dispensaries were raided across the city in an organized operation by members of the Ottawa Police Service shortly after 10 a.m. Nine employees were arrested, including an unidentified employee at the CannaGreen location, and bags and bags of dried marijuana, hash, hash oil, THC concentrate (shatter), and cannabis-laced edibles such as cookies and brownies along with some cash.

The raid was the culmination of an investigation of the marijuana shops which resulted in evidence being gathered that the shops were selling marijuana to customers who were not licensed medical marijuana users..

The employees face a number of charges including possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime. Some of the customers in the shops when police arrived were questioned and released.

The shops raided on Friday were all operated by a company based in Nanaimo, B.C. Ten other medical dispensaries in Ottawa were not part of the crackdown, but are still under investigation according to Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.

“We’re hopeful that today will send a clear message that the police service and our community do not want these locations because they are illegal and there may be consequences from an investigative perspective that they should be put on notice,” Bordeleau said in a prepared statement.

The medical marijuana dispensaries have been extremely controversial ever since they opened. While it is legal to grow medical marijuana for personal use with a doctor's perscription, or order it by mail from a grower licensed by Health Canada. it is not legal if sold from a store.

When the CannaGreen dispensary opened in Orléans this past summer, many people began questioning it's legality and voiced their complaints to their local city councillor.

The pot shop shares the same building as the Kumon Learning Centre and the Edge Taekwon-Do Academy. Parents with kids going to both businesses complained of the presence of marijuana odour in the air due to CannaGreen customers smoking pot in the shared parking lot behind the building.

The raid has left many legitimate licensed medical marijuana users without a local source for their marijuana.

One man interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen outside the St-Joseph store said he uses marijuana for medicinal purposes to control his multiple sclerosis symptoms and his sister uses it to control the pain of her Stage 4 breast cancer instead of morphine which can be extremely addictive, unlike cannabis.

"What am I gonna do now," the 50-year-old man asked the reporter rhetorically.

The dispensaries began popping up after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that his government would introduce legislation legalizing the recreational use of marijuana next spring.

The stores were opened under the guise that they were offering medical marijuana to customers who use it to control chronic pain due to various illnesses such as severe arthritis and Crohn's Disease as well as pain resulting from chemotherapy and sleeping disorders.

The website, United Patient's Group, lists 163 illnesses and conditions that can be eased through the uses of medical marijuana.

Should marijuana use be legalized for recreational use it is doubtful that it would be sold through privately run stores like CannaGreen. The general consensus in the halls of government and the medical community is that marijuana and any related cannabis products would be sold through government run, or at least government regulated outlets.

The CanaGreen medical marijuana dispensary was raided Friday morning and an employee arrested as part of a city-wide crackdown on so called 'pot shops'. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

   

 


Posted Jan. 12



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