Winnipeg Police Raid Two Marijuana Storefronts, Call Them ‘Illegal Dispensaries’

Article by Solomon Israel, Winnipeg Free Press

Police raid two marijuana storefronts, call them 'illegal dispensaries' Solomon Israel By: Solomon Israel.  Drug Arrests: C18-6900    Over the last several months, officers from the Marihuana Grow Operation Unit (MGOU) have been conducting an investigation into the activities of 2 illegal marihuana dispensaries.     The dispensaries, known as the Winnipeg Compassion Club on McPhillips St. and the Winnipeg Compassion Club South on Pembina Hwy. Both locations were openly selling marihuana.     It should be noted that marihuana seized in criminal investigations is never medical grade and is often found to contain contaminants which can pose significant health risks. In this investigation officers seized a number of items which would be particularly tempting to young children who could be at significant medical risk.     On January 8, 2018, MGOU, assisted by Community Support Units from Divisions 12, 13, and 14 obtained search warrants for both locations. Approximately $25,000 worth of marihuana, $20,000 of marihuana in alternate forms and $6,000 in cash were seized.     Three males, 45, 28, and 27, were arrested and charged with numerous CDSA offences as well Possession of Proceeds of Crime.   All 3 were released with court-ordered appearances.Two dispensaries, known as the Winnipeg Compassion Club on McPhillips Street and the Winnipeg Compassion Club South on Pembina Highway were raided by Winnipeg police. $20,000 of marijuana in alternate forms was seized.

Winnipeg police raided two locations of the Winnipeg Compassion Club last week, saying the storefronts were operating as “illegal marihuana dispensaries.”

Police seized approximately $25,000 worth of marijuana, $20,000 of marijuana in alternate forms and $6,000 in cash from both locations, which were “openly selling marihuana,” police in a news release Wednesday.

Three men were arrested and charged with several drug possession and trafficking offences, as well as possession of the proceeds of crime. The men, aged 45, 28, and 27, have been released pending court appearances.

One of the Winnipeg Compassion Club is located at the corner of McPhillips Street and Jefferson Avenue, while the other, called Winnipeg Compassion Club South, is in the 2900 block of Pembina Highway, according to police.

Attorney Neil Kaplan, who represents the owner of the Winnipeg Compassion Club’s McPhillips location, said his client intends to challenge the allegations made against him.

Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Rob Carver described illegal marijuana sales as a public safety issue. Cannabis recently seized by Winnipeg police, he said, has been contaminated with bacteria and heavy metals, although the cannabis seized from the Winnipeg Compassion Club locations has not yet been tested for contaminants.

Carver said police are also concerned edible cannabis products such as the ones seized from the Winnipeg Compassion Club locations could make their way into the hands of children. The products were candy-like in appearance.

“These are not safe things, and they’re not safe things that are being distributed in a way that would be specifically appealing to young kids,” said Carver. “This is dangerous. I’m a parent, I don’t know anyone who thinks that this could be a good idea.”

“These are not comments on the forthcoming sale of marijuana (legally),” added Carver. “It’s simply an issue of black market product being sold illegally that could present a danger.”

Read full article here.

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