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Police raid medical marijuana dispensary business

January 16, 2015 - 4:23 PM

KELOWNA - Just because a business is known as a medical marijuana dispensary doesn't mean they won't get raided by police.

RCMP Const. Kris Clark says a search warrant was executed on the dispensary located on the 500-block of Lawrence Avenue Thursday, Jan.15 after police received unspecified complaints. 

“In this particular case we had reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was being committed and took enforcement action," he says. "This dispensary is fairly new. We only recently became aware of it within the last couple weeks.”

Staff at the Kaya Clinic were present during the search but nobody was arrested at the time and prospective clients were turned away. During the search, Mounties say they came across a large quantity of marijuana products inside the store, including 12.5 pounds of dried marijuana, and derivative products such as oils, hash, capsules, creams, tinctures, balms, honey, candies, butters, teas and cookies.

According to the RCMP media release, 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. 

The release goes on to say, marijuana continues to be regulated as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), which the RCMP has an obligation to investigate where grounds exist. 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 continues and officers are gathering evidence to decide if charges of possession for the purposes of trafficking will be recommended. Clark says the decision will be made in consultation with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada but that RCMP will likely recommend charges be laid.

"The RCMP supports efforts to ensure those permitted by law to have access to marijuana for medical purposes do have that access," Clark says in the release. "The regulations do 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."

For more information on regulations related to medicinal marijuana production can be found on the Health Canada website.

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