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Edmonton marijuana club fights for right to operate

EDMONTON — Alberta’s only cannabis club is in an Edmonton court Tuesday lobbying for permission to operate, after being shut down this summer.

In July, ALERT’s Green Team raided a marijuana dispensary run by MACROS – Mobile Access Compassionate Resources Organization Society.

The non-profit group sold medicinal marijuana to people who had a prescription. It had more than 1,000 clients. The dispensary had been operating in Edmonton for 11 years prior to the bust and was the only place of its kind in the city.

President Robert Syre, his wife Janice Syre and their son Aaron Bott were charged with numerous charges including possession and trafficking.

It was a brief court appearance Tuesday for the accused. None of them were represented by a lawyer. They were all give disclosure packages, then their cases were put over for October 20th.

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MACROS expects the case to take years and eventually end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.

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“We want this to be our last fight for dispensaries. We’ve been left out of the models for two schemes now by the federal government. It’s time that they recognize dispensaries as a viable source for medical cannabis for the patients,” said Aaron Bott.

READ MORE: Clients upset after police raid Edmonton marijuana dispensary

MACROS argues it provides a necessary service for people who need medicinal marijuana.

“It’s a necessity service. It covers a lot of people that the government does not cover in their program,” Janice Syre said during a rally held by the society outside Edmonton’s City Hall in August.

READ MORE: Edmonton group pushing for regulation of medicinal marijuana

It’s illegal to operate a dispensary in Canada.

However, in some communities police have looked the other way. Earlier this year, Vancouver city council voted to regulate dispensaries despite being illegal under federal law. Dispensaries in Vancouver must now pay licensing fees and abide by zoning rules.

The City of Edmonton said there are no plans to take similar measures.

WATCH: Should medical marijuana dispensaries be allowed in Edmonton?

More to come…

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