The owner of a Waterloo marijuana dispensary shut down by police says she never meant to break the law, and would have stopped selling marijuana had police asked her to.

Police raided the Waterloo Dispensary on King Street North in the summer of 2016. Its operators, Shady and Nour Louka, were charged with marijuana possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Although they pleaded guilty, the husband and wife were given an absolute discharge in July – meaning the charges will not appear on their criminal records.

In granting the discharge, Justice Colin Westman said that the Loukas were genuinely trying to help ease peoples’ suffering.

Nour Louka, who owned the dispensary, says that’s exactly what her goal was.

“I was doing this out of a spot that was really to help people,” she said Friday in an interview.

“I met so many fantastic people – people who were really suffering on a day-to-day basis. Being able to help those people and really give them the relief that they’re looking for – that’s the biggest thing.”

Louka had started using marijuana herself after being involved in a car crash. She says it was the only medication that was able to get her life back to what it was before.

“It has changed my life. It has improved it tenfold. It has given me back the ability to do things and take part in things that I wasn’t able to do after my accident,” she said.

Louka says she and her husband – who was also prescribed marijuana after the collision – preferred to picked out their own strains themselves, and opened the dispensary because they wanted to help other people in their situation.

The Waterloo Dispensary was the first local dispensary to be shut down by Waterloo Regional Police during a 2016 crackdown.

All of the other dispensary owners were first given cease-and-desist notices – something Louka says never happened to her. She says she would have heeded such an order, had she been given one.

The raid on the Waterloo Dispensary also resulted in Shady Louka being charged with firearms offences. He was eventually convicted of careless storage of guns.

With reporting by Nicole Lampa