Police raid Riverside Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensary for third time this month
By: Chris Fox – CP24.com – March 24, 2017
Police have raided a Riverside marijuana dispensary for the third time this month and the second time this week.
Around 4 p.m., Police say they executed a search warrant at the Cannabis Culture dispensary at Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue on Thursday.
A total of 1,640 grams of marijuana, 1.92 grams of ‘shatter’ and $3,770 in Canadian currency was seized during the execution of the warrant. Police also arrested four people and charged each of them with three drug-related offences, including possession for the purpose of trafficking.
The raid came one day after the execution of search warrants at the Queen Street East dispensary and another dispensary on St. Clair Avenue, which is also owned by Cannabis Culture.
Police arrested the same four people at the Queen Street East dispensary on Wednesday as they did on Thursday. Those people were also charged with the same three offences on Wednesday that they were charged with on Thursday.
Police have now raided the Queen Street East location of Cannabis Culture three times this month, with the first raid taking place on March 9. Investigators also executed search warrants at four other Cannabis Culture establishments during Project Gator, and at other locations in Hamilton and Vancouver.
Those raids resulted in the arrests of a number of people, including the self-proclaimed “Prince and Princess of Pot” Mark and Jodie Emery.
At the time, a lawyer for the Emery’s called the raids an “incredible waste of taxpayer dollars and police resources” and chastised the TPS for cracking down on dispensaries as the federal government prepares to introduce legislation legalizing marijuana.
“Unfortunately some of us are still in the dark ages on this and continue to take this authoritarian position that simply because something is on the books as illegal that means we need to waste our time enforcing those laws,” Kirk Tousaw said.
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Cannabis For Canines. Yes It’s A Real Thing
By: CBS Miami – March 23, 2017
Laura Kruse calls these supplements, made with cannabis, her ‘miracle capsules’ but they’re not for her. Instead, she mixes it into food for her aging, 14-year-old Yorkie mix named Tacy. Kruse says, for years, Tacy suffered severe anxiety and constant itching and scratching.
“At the height of it, is was heartbreaking,” explained Kruse, after trying various medications, even a dog whisperer, her vet had a surprising recommendation.
“You can go online, and I think you should try cannabis,” Kruse recalled. She turned to Canna Companion, a Washington state-based company co-founded by veterinarian Sarah Brandon. “We moved in here about a year and a half ago from our kitchen,” explained Brandon.
The pills share some of the benefits of medical marijuana but they’re not marijuana and don’t get you high. They’re made with hemp and legal to sell across the U.S. “Especially anxiety it really helps a lot there, joint discomfort, neurological conditions and things like that,” explained Brandon.
Pet owners are buying it. Brandon’s sales jumped from 100-thousand dollars in 2014 to 1.1 million last year.
But Dr. Mark Helfat of the American Veterinary Medical Association cautions more study is needed. “Right now I would not promote these products nor would I recommend them,” said Dr. Helfat.
But Kruse says she has all the evidence she needs.“If your pet is so uncomfortable in their own skin and so anxious that they can’t live a restful life, then you need help. I think it helps.”
Analysts predict the holistic hemp industry will grow to more than 150-million dollars in the next four years.
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Manitoba pot law shows ignorance, says cannabis expert
By: Aiden Geary – CBC News – March 24, 2017
Critics of Manitoba’s proposed marijuana legislation say the province is showing its ignorance about cannabis and needs to consult more with experts.
The province is pushing unnecessary, short-sighted laws before waiting to see what the federal government’s approach will be to legalizing pot, said Zach Walsh, a former Winnipegger who is now an associate professor at the University of B.C.’s department of psychology, specializing in cannabis research.
The bill, introduced Monday by the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party, lacks consideration for medical cannabis and its users, which could further stigmatize those who rely on it, Walsh said.
“There’s a number of Canadians who are using cannabis to deal with serious medical conditions, and they already face substantial stigma,” he said.
“I worry that bills like this are going to exacerbate that and create further barriers for people who might be considering using an efficacious and safe medicine.
“I’m also concerned by the emphasis on harms that doesn’t seem to be founded by any reason or research, particularly the concerns about motor vehicle accidents,” Walsh said.
“We know from research over the past decade or so in the United States, where they can compare states that have permitted medical cannabis and recreational cannabis to those that haven’t, that those states with medical cannabis have seen sizable reductions in motor vehicle accidents and traffic fatalities.”
As well, American states that have allowed medical marijuana have seen substantial savings to the government when compared to those paying for other medications, he noted.
“It would have been nice if [Manitoba] would have consulted with some experts on cannabis or even if they would have consulted with the scientific literature — if they would have done their due diligence,” Walsh said.
“I think [this proposed legislation] is uninformed.”
On Tuesday, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson told CBC News the province did not consult medical cannabis users specifically when drafting the legislation. Groups the province did consult include Winnipeg police, RCMP, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, CancerCare and the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The legislation would bring in restrictions for marijuana similar to those for alcohol, banning people from consuming it in a vehicle and giving police the right to suspend a driver’s licence for 24 hours if they thought the person was under the influence of the drug.
Stefanson said the legislation is a “stop-gap measure” designed to maintain road safety as the province waits for the federal government’s laws.
“It is clear that there are public safety issues related to impaired drivers in Manitoba, as shown in the results of the MPI survey that indicated about one in 10 drivers tested positive for drugs,” Stefanson said.
“We have taken a proactive approach to addressing the concerns around public safety by proposing an interim solution in the absence of federal legislation.
Certainly, everyone wants people to be as sober, alert and vigilant as possible when they’re driving, but legislation already exists for dealing with impaired drivers, Walsh said.
“There’s no reason to make a special case for cannabis. It’s not at all like alcohol, where we see such pronounced and profound deficits [in judgments and co-ordination],” he said.
“It’s really a non-issue [when it comes to marijuana], and this legislation seems like a bit of time-wasting and posturing.”
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Anne McLellan, urges Police everywhere to enforce the Prohibition on Cannabis
By: World Cannabis – March 24, 2017
Anne McLellan, a former Liberal cabinet member and current member of an official task force has submitted recommendations to Ottawa on the best course to legalizing cannabis. On Thursday said that Vancouver’s first municipal marijuana bylaw was a “growing difficult situation for them”. Anne is a known proponent of Marijuana and the benefits it gives. She has called Marijuana a “scourge” and called its users “stupid”.
McLellan, who was in Vancouver speaking at SFU stated, “Nobody would deny that there are some practical problems at street level, absolutley, nobody denies that. Cities should wait until the law changes instead of making their own rules now and hoping to adapt them to a federal framework later on. I cannot advocate that anybody break existing laws. We are a nation of law-abiding citizens.”
While the country has been waiting almost two years for the Liberal Party to uphold their electoral promise of Cannabis reform, it is expected to land on the table this spring and hold a two year plan to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. Stores are still considered illegal under federal law. Local politicians argue rules can be adapted to any national laws that will be put in place regulating the sale of cannabis in cities were the stores are currently operating
There are currently about 30 legal dispensaries and compassion clubs across Canada that are sanctioned through the Federal government’s medical marijuana program. This is only available to those who qualify through the mail.
The Liberal party’s campaign rhetoric has been repeated ad nauseum, that their goal is to keep the drug out of the hands of young people and to stop organized criminals involved in the production and sale of the drug on the black market. The only way to keep this drug out of the hands of criminals so is to decriminalize and legalize cannabis for all Canadians. So far, the party has succeeded in neither of their campaign promises. Pot shops have seen an increase in violent thieves and robberies, leading cities like Toronto, to crack down on dispensaries, where Vancouver has attempted to regulate.
The current national hold up is causing confusion and hold-up for politicians who are waiting for guidance as to where the drug may be sold once legalized.
Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang, architect of the local dispensary bylaw, said he was disappointed in Ms. McLellan and Ottawa’s rhetoric, noting they both appear to be eschewing the public-health approach of his city, and that of other communities in B.C. also licensing these illegal stores.
Mr. Jang stated Thursday, “It’s sort of like we’re in purgatory, and when you’re in purgatory, it’s not about allocating our resources, it’s about advocating what’s right for our citizens – that’s what Vancouver has done.” He also stated he wants McLellan to push ministers to implement the new legislation faster because across the country, local governments are wasting millions of dollars containing the grey cannabis market. “When it comes to resources, the federal government better provide good resources for us to help enforce and help manage what they want us to do, otherwise we’re going back to square one.”
Ottawa Police Raid leads to charges and seizure of loaded handgun
By: World Cannabis – March 22, 2017
On March 21, 2017 Ottawa Police Service Drug Unit carried out warrants on two dispensaries in Ottawa. Police seized an undisclosed amount of cash, cannabis products and an unregistered, loaded handgun. Seven people were arrested and charged including four employees.
The list of charges are as follows:
- CC 86(1) – Store Firearm Carelessly
- CC 88(1) – Possess Weapon dangerous to public peace
- CC 91(1) – Possess Restricted Firearm without Holding a license
- CC 92(1) – Possess Restricted Firearm Knowing not holding a license
- CC 95(1) – Possess Loaded regulated Firearm
- CC 96(2) – Possess Firearm Obtained by Crime
- CC 354 – Possess Proceeds of Crime Under $5,000
- CC 354(1) – Possess Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime over $5,000
- CDSA 5(2) – Possess Schedule II Substance for Trafficking
- CDSA 5(1) – Traffic Schedule II Substance x 3
The Ottawa Police Service media release is available here
Sergeant Rick Carey of the Ottawa Police Service Drug Unit released the following statement, “We continue to advise the public that these store front operations are illegal and the laws will be enforced. Drugs and Guns are continually being found in close proximity to each other and anyone thinking illegal drug trafficking from behind a store front counter is safer than on a street corner is fooling themselves.”
One of the many things that Trump voters almost certainly didn’t vote for, but are almost certainly getting, is a crackdown on weed. As Stephen Colbert reminded us last night, “Attorney General and Forest Gnome Whose Riddles Are Kind of Racist Jeff Sessions” has something of an issue with marijuana. For one thing, he seems to have a fairly insane view of how dangerous it is compared with other substances:
Colbert’s Alabama lawman voice was phenomenal, as was his destruction of Sessions’ argument. “Sure, marijuana’s only slightly less awful than heroin,” the Late Show host said, “like how burning your tongue on hot cocoa is only slightly less awful than being set on fire.” Colbert’s real assessment—that weed is of course far less dangerous and harmful than heroin—is backed up by science and data, so it won’t get much love in this administration. But for one thing, more than 30,000 people died after overdosing on opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers in 2016. There has never been a recorded death from a marijuana overdose.
–Read the entire article here
Jacquie Miller – Ottawa Citizen – March 21, 2017
Ottawa police raided two more marijuana dispensaries Tuesday, this time targeting a locally owned chain that was the first to open shop in town.
Police executed search warrants at the Magna Terra Health Services dispensaries on Carling Avenue and on Iber Road in Stittsville.
They carted away bags of dried weed, edible cannabis products and oils. No information had been released on arrests by early evening.
It was the 13th raid on a dispensary in Ottawa since last November.
Police have warned that the shops are operating illegally and drug laws against trafficking are still on the books. Dispensaries have been opening across the country in advance of the federal government’s promise to introduce legislation this spring to legalize recreational pot.
–Read the entire article here
By Ben Miljure – CTV Vancouver – March 21, 2017
Jodie Emery has returned to Vancouver after being arrested for running recreational marijuana stores in Ontario, and says she thinks the charges she’s facing are politically motivated.
The self-described activist called her and her husband Marc’s arrests the latest salvo in a battle between what she calls the grassroots industry and government licenced producers.
“In the future, it would be great to see cannabis normalized and easily available,” said Emery on her motivation for opening a chain of recreational weed shops across the country.
“That’s why we were demonstrating what legalization should look like: storefronts where adults can walk in and access cannabis.”
With legalization looming in Canada, Emery worries that people like her will be completely shut out of the industry.
Some businesses in Vancouver, anxious to get ahead of whatever regulation comes with marijuana legalization, have already dropped the requirement for customers to have a medical reason to buy pot.
One such business, the Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary on East Hastings Street, sits directly across the street from Strathcona Beer Company, one of Vancouver’s many flourishing micro-breweries.
“Certainly there are real distinct parallels between what happened in the beer industry and the spirit industry and now what we are starting to see with the marijuana industry,” said Vancouver City Councillor Kerry Jang.
American pharmaceutical company CannRx and accelerator iCAN: Israel-Cannabis have partnered to launch a sleep aid, called ican.sleep, made from cannabis extracts. The product will be the first pharmaceutical-grade cannabis formulation for sleep on the market, and could be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry in Israel, said Bill Levine, the executive chairman of CannRx Technologies.
The product will consist of a precise cannabis formulation that will be inhaled by users for a rapid onset. The formulation will also determine the duration of users’ sleep.
“You take a puff or two, depending upon the dosage, and basically within ten minutes you’ll be drowsy enough to sleep,” Levine said. “We can give you a predictable, dose dependent response every single time.”
The companies announced the new product at the CannaTech medical cannabis conference in Tel Aviv this week. CannRx and iCAN plan to launch the sleep supplement globally following patent trials this year.
–Read the entire article here
The West Australian – March 21, 2017
About 35kg of cannabis has been seized from a commercial property in Perth’s north which police say was being used to grow a hydroponic crop.
Officers searched the Buckingham Drive premises in Wangara on Friday, seizing 132 plants of varying stages of maturity and about 35kg of cannabis.
The processed cannabis alone has an street value of about $500,000, according to police.
A 48-year-old Connolly man has been charged with possessing a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply and cultivating a prohibited plant with intent to sell or supply.
He was arrested after arriving at the property when officers were carrying out the search.
He is due to appear in Joondalup Magistrates Court on April 21.
–Read the entire article here