Medical marijuana lounge Farm Assists searched by Halifax police

Halifax Regional Police took one person into custody after searching Farm Assists, a medical marijuana lounge on Gottingen Street, on Thursday afternoon.

'None of them are criminals selling medication,' says customer of the Gottingen Street lounge

Halifax police officers questioned staff and customers Thursday at Farm Assists on Gottingen Street. (Jack Julian/CBC)

A medical marijuana lounge in Halifax was raided by police on Thursday and its owner taken into custody, witnesses say.

Halifax Regional Police say officers executed a search warrant at Farm Assists on Gottingen Street in the city's north end.

A customer and a bystander told CBC News that the lounge's owner, Christopher Enns, was taken away from the scene in a police car. Police confirmed one person was arrested but did not give further details.

No one has been charged.

Chris Enns is owner of Farm Assists medical marijuana lounge in Halifax. (CBC)

'It's a shame,' customer says

At least six officers questioned customers and staff inside the business while putting evidence into plastic bags. 

A crowd of about a dozen people gathered across the street, yelling at the officers who guarded the door to the business. 

Customer Robert Clayton was turned away when he tried to enter. He said he wanted to buy marijuana to treat his anxiety.

"It's a shame. These guys aren't criminals," Clayton said. "I come here a few times a week. None of them are criminals selling medication to people who need it — people whose doctors told them they're allowed to have it."

Farm Assists has been raided before

Police raided the store last year and charged Enns with several drug trafficking-related offences. His case drew sympathy from medical marijuana consumers across Canada. The lounge partially reopened a few days later.

The store is permitted to welcome licensed medical marijuana users to vaporize their marijuana using smokeless devices. The machines toast the plant to release the active THC instead of burning it.

Enns has had a licence to possess medical marijuana. However, storefront operations that sell the drug are illegal, according to Health Canada. Halifax police have said anyone selling marijuana at this type of business is trafficking illegal drugs. 

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