Article by Riley Laychuk, CBC News
A Brandon couple has filed a civil lawsuit against the RCMP after their legal marijuana grow operation was raided and destroyed.
Jerry Pomehichuk and his common-law wife, Brenda Wakefield, are suing for damages incurred in the raid in June 2015, says a statement of claim filed in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench in June.
The couple named three RCMP officers in the suit, along with Health Canada and Canada’s attorney general.
A Manitoba RCMP spokesperson said the force cannot comment because the matter is now before the courts. Heath Canada also said in a statement that it would be inappropriate to comment because the matter is currently before the courts.
No statements of defence have been filed and the claims haven’t been proven in court.
The RCMP believed the couple’s Health Canada licences to grow marijuana for personal medical use and to possess dry marijuana had expired because they were told by Health Canada that no “business operators” existed in the Brandon area at the time, the claim says.
RCMP also believed the number of plants in the warehouse was above the allowable limit.
Charges laid, later stayed
The couple was legally allowed to grow 293 plants in the Brandon warehouse, the claim says. Police raided the warehouse and seized 206 plants and five kilograms of dried marijuana on June 21, 2015.
Pomehichuk was later charged with production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking, but federal Crown attorneys stayed the charges on Aug. 14, 2015, after learning Pomehichuk did hold a valid licence from Health Canada.