Saskatoon police weigh in on medical marijuana dispensary
Watch above: A day after setting up shop in Saskatoon we find out how the new medical marijuana dispensary is being received. Wendy Winiewski also checks in to see what if any action is being planned by the police.
SASKATOON – Medical marijuana is commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, some forms of cancer and other pain associated diseases and ailments including mental health issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Saskatchewan Compassion Club is biding its time, opening a storefront Monday to dispense these products without a license from Health Canada to do so.
On Tuesday, Mark Hauk was greeted by a line-up of people waiting at the doors of the new downtown location on 2nd Avenue.
“We’re up to over 40 new members in a day and a half,” Hauk said Tuesday afternoon. “I fielded up to 100 phone calls yesterday and up to 100 emails.”
Hauk said this signifies a need for his service. Saskatchewan Compassion Club offers consultation to those trying to obtain prescriptions for medical marijuana. Hauk’s also dispenses product from his new storefront.
Gisele Cooke drove in from Watrous to pick up what she needs.
“It’s infused watermelon candies,” Cooke said nonchalantly holding up the package of bright pink candy – each portioned to contain 50 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive element of cannabis.
Cooke is battling colon cancer and is not pleased with other more traditional treatments.
“He was very ready to give me 60 oxycodone pills with no question whatsoever,” said Cooke, referencing her doctor.
“I was very offended.”
Eventually she was prescribed medical marijuana. By popping two cannabis candies in her tea in the evening, she’s able to ease her pain and sleep well.
“Otherwise I’m taking pills where until noon, you wake up in the morning and you’re all groggy and all that. That’s not the way. That’s not restful sleep,” said Cooke.
Cooke has a prescription for medical marijuana but legally she can only obtain product from Health Canada’s 18 authorized producers. The Saskatchewan Compassion Club is not authorized.
The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) is evaluating the situation.
“At this point the police service is aware of the business that has opened and the nature of that business,” said SPS spokesperson Kelsie Fraser.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, it is illegal to dispense the product without a license. It remains unclear whether the SPS will turn a blind eye the way other police forces across the country have.
“If an investigation needs to be launched then an investigation will be undertaken and any appropriate or necessary action will be taken at that such time,” said Fraser.
Open for two full days, and with no word from police, Hauk and his growing base of members are hopeful their pharmacy will not go up in smoke.
© 2015 Shaw Media