A report of a break and enter has escalated to an investigation into an unauthorized cannabis outlet.
At 10 a.m. CT Tuesday Saskatoon police were called to the 600-block of 3rd Avenue North by a member of the public who reported a break-in.
On arrival, the investigation switched gears from pursuing a break and enter, to pursuing people responsible for an illegal cannabis operation.
Police seized three pounds of cannabis, $400 cash, and 300 cannabis-based derivatives. While the Saskatoon Police Service was previously aware that this location may be existing outside the law, the break and enter forced a response.
“It’s a matter of priorities,” explained Supt. Dave Haye. “When we’re dealing with drugs like fentanyl, which is responsible for deaths, and drugs like crystal meth which is responsible for a lot of our property crime increase, I mean, we have to make priorities so dealing with the unauthorized cannabis outlets hasn’t been a priority at this moment… until this incident.”
Prompted by the break and enter, police admit this is not a crack down on illegal dispensaries but does still ask for voluntary compliance.
In February, Regina police hand delivered warning letters to dispensaries. Many have since closed down in compliance.
“I’m very impressed with the results in Regina,” said Haye. “Now that we have Chief Cooper in place we can start making some up-to-date policies on how to approach these unauthorized cannabis outlets.”
Haye hesitated to make any concrete commitments regarding a drug which will soon be legal in Canada.
The superintendent cautions though, whether it’s before or after legalization, products from unauthorized dispensaries won’t ever be considered safe.