Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
Cannabis Life Network spoke with Pat Warnecke, the owner of Saskatchewan-based medical dispensary Best Buds Society on June 22, a day after he turned himself into police after finding out there was a warrant out for his arrest.
Pat Warnecke told us about his shock upon finding his face on the front page; the shadiness of Saskatchewan’s dispensary license lottery where people won multiple licenses (the chances of which were 1 in millions!); the shadowy billionaire family trying to control Saskatchewan’s cannabis industry; setting up dispensaries on First Nations’ land; why Saskatchewan wants to destroy its homegrown cannabis industry; and so much more.
Cannabis Life Network: How did you feel when you learned there was a warrant out for your arrest?
Pat Warnecke: It was quite a stunt that the RPS (Regina Police Service) pulled here. We’d been in constant contact for almost two weeks with the RPS and Crown prosecutor through our lawyer.
On Wednesday morning (June 20), the Crown prosecutor gave our lawyer 3 options:
- come in Thursday (June 21)
- (Friday [June 22)
- June 26th.”
Our lawyers chose Thursday, June 21, but the arrest warrant went out later that day. At the time, I was out in BC because we’re moving there.
“I don’t know if the Regina Police heard or what because they put out that warrant after we made a deal with the Crown prosecutor.”
So then reporter Arthur White-Crummy went back to the Crown prosecutor and asked if there was any reason for this and if we were being kept in custody and the Crown prosecutor said no, they wouldn’t be keeping us because there was no reason to, and they actually dropped all of our conditions and released us the same day!
So I’m literally back at the Best Buds in Regina right now for the very first time since the original raids back in March!
Why was your wife charged?
They charged my wife with the same charges that I’m facing, including trafficking, and they’re basing all of that off the fact that she has shares in the company!
They’re basically charging her for her association with me, since trafficking literally means the exchange of funds for product and so on. You need proof of something exchanging hands and not just her name on a piece of paper.
My wife has never been charged with anything before. It’s obviously a strong-arm approach.
The police were very public in publishing your names.
Oh yeah. It’s pretty heavy-handed. We were actually gone the first month after the original raids happened back in March, and when we came back on Easter night, our door was kicked in.
The thing about the house we were staying at is we had just moved there two months before. We had no visitors and no bills going there, no nothing. It was a friend’s place and there was no way for police to know we were there because there was nothing to tie us to that place- unless they surveilled us.