On Monday the 27th of August, 2018 at approximately 8:30am, the West Grey Police Service executed a search warrant on an alleged cannabis dispensary in Dornoch, Ontario.
Police received public complaints and concerns that a local ice cream shop was selling ice cream as well as selling cannabis in the same building and that children were entering this store. Signs displayed out front of the store indicated that drug paraphernalia was sold in the store and a sign had been posted across the storefront stating “marijuana kills pain.” A deep concern was that children were attending this narrow ice cream shop which had ice cream for sale on the one side and the other side there was marihuana, pipes and bongs for sale behind a glass counter.
Upon entry to the building, Police arrested the 63 year old owner who has a registered address in Mississauga, Ontario. Police located a large amount of what is believed to be cannabis as well as over one-hundred bags of what is believed to be “edibles.” A large quantity of drug paraphernalia was also located and seized. The “edibles” where packaged to target children being sold in the form of gummies and lollipops.
It is important to note that Health Canada only recognizes that medical marihuana be either grown by a licensed user for their own medical purpose or the sale of medical marihuana by a licensed medical marihuana producer. The sale by a licensed producer is done online or by telephone, and there are no legal store fronts to purchase medical marihuana. Health Canada’s website provides a list of authorized licensed producers of cannabis to which the Dornoch dispensary address was not listed as an authorized vendor. These stores are not legal and the product they are selling is not tested or regulated. The product they are selling is potentially harmful because they do not know what it is in the product.
Further, it is imperative to remember that possession of cannabis remains illegal until it is legalized on October 17, 2018. Ontario’s Government will be ready with rules that keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and keep our roads safe.
Ontario has passed new laws about how, where and who can buy, possess and consume cannabis in the province. These rules are similar to those in place for alcohol and tobacco, with some differences. Every consumer should educate themselves as to what laws apply to their specific case. Information can be found at www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-legalization .
Subsequent to Police investigation, the 63 year old home owner was arrested and charged with four counts of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking contrary to the Controlled Drug and substances Act (CDSA) and one count of Possession of Marihuana contrary to the CSDA. The accused was held in custody for a bail hearing which will occur out of the Walkerton Courthouse on the 28th day of August, 2018.
The Federal Government has committed to changes to laws and regulations as they relate to cannabis; however, until such changes are proclaimed law, the present provision of the CDSA in relation to possession and sale of cannabis remains in force. The West Grey Police Service will continue to investigate all allegations of criminal activity, including the sale and trafficking of cannabis dispensaries.