One of the operators of an Edmonton storefront cannabis dispensary says he has joined an industry legalization committee after charges laid in a police raid were dropped.
Aaron Bott, his brother Colin Bott and his mother and stepfather, Janice and Bob Cyre, were charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and production of a controlled substance when their non-profit “compassion club” was busted in July 2015.
The Mobile Access Compassionate Resources Organization Society, or MACROS, supplied cannabis products from a shop on 118 Avenue to more than 1,000 customers with Health Canada medical-marijuana licences or prescriptions from a doctor.
But in December the last of the charges against the four people were withdrawn by the prosecutor.
Instead, Hemperial Fidelis Ltd., which ran a hemp store in the building and leased space to MACROS, pleaded guilty to providing products without proper Health Canada licensing, and was fined $6,500.
“It gave me my freedom back,” former chair Aaron Bott said Friday, adding MACROS was Alberta’s only storefront dispensary.
“I never looked at myself as a criminal … I got into the cannabis industry to help people.”
He thinks the Crown dropped the individuals’ charges to avoid a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge that would have argued the medical pot system interferes with the ability of patients to obtain what they need.