Marijuana dispensaries closing doors in wake of Waterloo raid
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Wednesday, August 3, 2016 6:00PM EDT
The police raid of a medical marijuana dispensary in Waterloo appears to be having far-reaching effects around the region.
On Tuesday, police officers were seen removing computers and other items from the Waterloo Dispensary on King Street North.
Waterloo Regional Police say the raid was part of an “ongoing investigation”, and they cannot comment on any pending charges in connection with it due to a publication ban.
The uncertainty over exactly what happened at the Waterloo Dispensary and whether other organizations could see similar police action has led two other local dispensaries to shut their doors, at least temporarily.
“The situation in Waterloo has got us all wondering ‘What did Waterloo do wrong?’” said one man who claims to have been selling medical marijuana in Kitchener for the past two years and asked not to be identified.
“We need to sit down and really formulate a plan to go forward.”
The man said his shop closed despite concerns about what it would mean for their sick clients.
Matt Fox was a client of the Waterloo Dispensary up until Tuesday’s raid, which he called “tremendously upsetting.”
He says he has a licence to purchase marijuana through Health Canada, and smokes it on a daily basis to help him cope with scoliosis, but preferred the Waterloo storefront because it gave him more control over what he purchased.
“I’d much rather see what I’m buying,” he said in an interview.
Police say they’re enforcing Canada’s criminal laws, which stipulate that medical marijuana must be ordered through Health Canada.
“Anything storefront is illegal,” said Staff Sgt. Sloden Lackovic.
Fox says he would rather see police focus their energies on dealing with other illegal drugs.
“Patients need this stuff,” he said.
“Marijuana does a lot of wonders for me. Without it, I’m in a lot of pain.”
With reporting by Nicole Lampa