Marijuana dispensaries vow to stay open after Health Canada threat

A pair of medical marijuana dispensaries plan to fight Health Canada.

Warning letter says business owners face a possible $5-million fine, up to 2 years in prison

The letter sent to the Saskatchewan Compassion Club. (CBC)

Mark Hauk is not afraid to go to jail.

Which is good, because that's exactly where Health Canada is threatening to send him should he not close down his medical marijuana dispensary in Saskatoon.

Health Canada sent letters to 13 dispensaries across the country, including the two in Saskatchewan. The warning letter said that business owners face a possible $5-million fine and up to two years in prison.

Jerry Martin, owner of Martin Medical Services, the other Saskatchewan-based dispensary, temporarily closed his operation in Whitewood, Sask. but reopened. He vows to fight the threat. 

"Unfortunately, we are no longer in business," a message on the store's answering machine said earlier today.

"Due to the threats from Stephen Harper, Rona Ambrose and Health Canada. We truly apologize."

Saskatchewan Compassion Club owner Mark Hauk. (CBC)
Hauk said he started getting calls from Whitewood and area once the letter became public.

"They were calling us looking for confirmation that we weren't going to close the doors. And we were happy to give them that," he said.

"There is a very clear need for groups like ours to exist in the community until the federal government comes up with a reasonable program that provides free and fair access to patients."


  • A previous version of this story stated that Martin Medical Services had closed due to the Health Canada threats. The closure was temporary.
    Sep 14, 2015 2:37 PM CT