Police conduct another round of raids at Saint John marijuana dispensaries
Published Tuesday, March 21, 2017 8:21PM ADT
Just months away from legalized marijuana in Canada, police have once again raided marijuana dispensaries in Saint John.
Police used search warrants at four dispensaries on Tuesday. All four had been raided in January, but in recent weeks, they re-opened.
"I pulled up to the shop to open up and help our patients, and we got surrounded," said BCW Medical Inc. employee Mike Flynn.
A flyer on one door indicated the shop was very much in operation this week.
"(Police) allow us to stay open for a month, month and a half. They allow patients to depend on us, get rid of their sources on the street cause nobody wants to buy on the street anyways, and then they do this to us," said Flynn.
Customer Daryl Nice says the raids don’t make sense, given that the federal government has promised to legalize marijuana.
"I just find it to be annoying,” said Nice. “I'm looking for my medication and now I can't get it, and I find that to be troublesome."
Following the last set of pot dispensary raids, police said the pending changes to marijuana legislation in Canada were not the issue. They argue the pot dispensaries are operating outside the law today, and they have no choice but to act.
Hank Merchant, the owner of HBC Medical Inc, says he dropped by police headquarters Tuesday afternoon to try to get information on possible charges.
He says police should be waiting to see how Ottawa changes pot laws.
"It's like a football game. It's a holding pattern. At some point in time, not very far down the road, we know we're going to get licensed. The rest of Canada is in waiting mode to see when we're going to get licensed. Why is it any different here?" said Merchant.
Merchant estimates that the loss of inventory in the two raids has cost his company about a $250,000.
Police did not say how many suspects were arrested and what charges they’ll be facing.
January’s investigation saw 12 people arrested and charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. They are expected to appear in court in May.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.