Halifax police to seize cannabis after investigating break-in at marijuana dispensary
For the second time in a week Halifax Regional Police (HRP) have responded to a break-in at a popular dispensary on Agricola Street — only to secure a search warrant in order to seize drugs they found on the premises.
Police say they responded to an alarm at 2411 Agricola Street — the location of a dispensary operated by Coastal Cannapy Inc. — at approximately 2:40 a.m. on Monday.
When officers arrived they reportedly found the front door damaged and forced open.
HRP cleared the business and confirmed that suspects had fled prior to their arrival. While clearing the business, police say they saw marijuana and drug paraphernalia throughout the store.
“Officers have secured the business while a search warrant is obtained for the business,” a press release from police said.
If this sounds familiar it should. It is a repeat of the same process that happened only five days ago when officers seized drugs and cash after responding to a break-in at the same location.
The provincial government has said that the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) will be the only company permitted to sell and dispense cannabis — a decision which the HRM has said is their position as well.
“Store front selling is illegal. It’s not changing when the federal government makes marijuana legal,” Brendan Elliott.
The owner of Coastal Cannapy Inc., released a statement in the wake of Monday morning’s break-in, calling on the province to allow dispensaries like theirs to operate without legal threat.
“There will not be enough locations through NSLC to properly serve either the recreational or medicinal user,” the owner of Coastal Cannapy, Andrew Laughlin, said in a press release on Monday.
“Our business is here to serve the public who are being undeserved. Our business supports low income citizens who need medicinal access both by subsidizing costs and being easily accessible.”
The statement says that the dispensary serves between 300 to 500 customers daily and has operated for two years.
Laughlin says that the company has decided to push back against a “narrative” being pushed by the government.
“We encourage those who support our view to reach out, speak up and let governments know heavy handed tactics won’t push us away or create a workable system,” Laughlin writes.
“We call on governments to talk to us, not demonize us. Stop the attack on dispensaries.”
WATCH: NSLC unveils concept of ‘bright, open’ cannabis outlets
Legal action between the municipality and Coastal Cannapy
The Halifax Regional Municipality announced two weeks ago that it planned to take Coastal Cannapy Inc. to Nova Scotia Supreme Court to shut down the dispensary.
In a press release last week, the HRM said that it’s seeking a court order to shut the store down as it is a business operating without a permit. The city says that it does not issue permits to businesses for the sale of illegal products such as cannabis.
The company and the store’s landlord, a numbered company known as 3065468 Nova Scotia Limited, pleaded guilty in Nova Scotia Provincial Court on Dec. 1, 2017 to operating a business without a permit.
The city says that despite being ordered to shut down, the operation has remained open in violation of a provincial court order and the municipality’s land-use-by-law.
Police continue to investigate the Monday morning break-in but have no suspect information at this time.
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