Canada: Saskatchewan Medical Cannabis Association Calls For Moratorium On Dispensary Raids

Photo Credit: Alicia Yashcheshen

Alicia Yashcheshen says a police raid on the Canna-World medical marijuana dispensary this week robbed her of her access to medicine.

Yashcheshen is co-founder of the Saskatchewan Medical Cannabis Association, which she says has around 100 members. She has Crohn’s disease and has a Health Canada licence to use marijuana.

Canna-World is the dispensary she used.

“I’ll have to go back online, and that’s a risky game,” she said.

“It’s too easy to get ripped off.”

Police raided the company’s Third Avenue N. location on Tuesday after responding to a report of a break and enter. While there checking the break-in, officers noted the jars of marijuana and display case full of cannabis derivatives.

After consulting with Health Canada and a prosecutor, officers seized more than a kilogram of marijuana, cash and more than 300 derivatives such as lollipops, hashish and cannabis-infused chocolate.

Yashcheshen doesn’t accept that police had to seize the outlet’s supply.

“I get where they’re coming from, but they never consider the patients,” she said.

The association is calling on Saskatoon police to announce an immediate moratorium on dispensary raids and cannabis-related arrests, with legalization coming this year.

On Friday, a police spokesperson said the “police service has no concerns with persons accessing medical cannabis through legal means. Our concern lies with the sale of illicit cannabis through unauthorized cannabis outlets. As a police service, our duty is to uphold the laws until such time that they are changed by government.”

Saskatoon police said on Thursday the raid does not signal a larger crackdown on local unauthorized dispensaries.

Police Supt. Dave Haye told CBC it’s all about priorities, and police have more pressing concerns these days than how patients get medical marijuana.