Clients in N.B. show support for beloved cannabis dispensary
HALIFAX -- Marty Robichaud is facing the reality that his medical marijuana dispensary may have to close its doors.
He received the news via a letter issued by the RCMP citing unlawful activity taking place at the Green Cross Medical dispensary.
"We received basically, what appears to be a cease and desist order on Tuesday afternoon informing us that, with the new cannabis act that’s been put into place because of the new recreational regime, we are no longer in a 'grey zone,'" says Robichaud.
On Saturday, a silent protest and customer appreciation event was held in light of the letter – part of which states: "the province has implemented its recreational cannabis infrastructure and has left the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation as the sole authority to distribute recreational cannabis in the province."
However, Robichaud insists he's not distributing recreational pot.
"We don’t believe that what we are doing is wrong,” says Robichaud. “We don’t believe that we should be falling under that category. We are owned and operated strictly by medical patients – we serve only medical patients."
Medical patients like Murielle Berube, who began using cannabis to help with physical pain and mental health issues.
"Due to an accident with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, PTSD, anxiety and depression – all those mixed together in a nice little cocktail was very difficult to deal on a daily basis," says Berube.
Many of Green Cross Medical’s clients refuse to go to Cannabis NB – citing high prices as a major deterrent.
The letter notes a series of charges could be laid if the dispensary does not close immediately, including possession and distribution.
"We will stand up for what we firmly believe is our rights. We're not staying open to spite the Codiac RCMP or that we think we are untouchable,” says Robichaud. “We know exactly what possibilities we face. Do we want to go through them? No. Will we? Yes."
Meanwhile, some of the patients at the dispensary say they'd be in a tough spot if Green Cross Medical were to shut down.
"I'd be finding someone that deals off the street basically,” says client, Mike Watson, who recently had a hip replacement and refuses to go to Cannabis NB. I need something for the pain. I can’t get through a full day with what I have."
Meanwhile, the dispensary could face eviction at any time, but they're hoping it won’t come to that and are giving thanks to their clients.