Article by Nancy-Anne Rose, Lift
For almost 12 years, M.A.C.R.O.S., the Mobile Access Compassionate Resources Organization Society, provided patient counseling and sold a variety of products (i.e. dried flower, oils, tinctures, concentrates and edibles) exclusively to society members. Their expertise, reputation, and effort to align with municipal bylaws and federal laws (medical cannabis was legalized in 2001) created a place fitting of endorsement by local law enforcement.
On July 22 2015, M.A.C.R.O.S. was raided and the family was individually charged with possession of dried flower with intent to traffic, while the corporation, Hemperalis Fidelis Ltd. was charged with housing an illegal identity. Soap making equipment and less than 3 pounds of dried flower were seized.
M.A.C.R.O.S. served over 1000 patients and many were left without access to their medicine after the raid. It’s hard to imagine fighting cancer, living a life in chronic pain, or managing a condition that leaves you bedridden 95% of the time, but these are some of the struggles faced by dispensary patients.
M.A.C.R.O.S. is Edmonton’s first dispensary, and after 16 months of uncertainty and speculation, on December 2, 2016, they learned that the Crown had prepared a deal. All individual charges were dropped and Hemperalis Fidelis Ltd was charged with possession of resin and edibles with intent to traffic and fined $5000 plus $1500 for victim charges.
By charging the corporation and not the individuals, the Alberta court potentially set a precedent for any future cases in the province and perhaps others. Aaron Bott, President of M.A.C.R.O.S, says he believes the court knew that any individual charges or direct charges against M.A.C.R.O.S. would trigger a constitutional challenge, a fight he was willing to take to the Supreme Court.