Owner of new medical marijuana shop in Regina wants to educate and heal

The owner of a new medical marijuana storefront in Regina says her aim is to help educate and heal.

Kelly Csada's store specializes in marijuna-based creams and salves

Kelly Csada, the owner of KELZ Medical Services Corp. says marijuana-infused oil has helped her battle with Crohn's disease. (CBC)

The owner of a new medical marijuana storefront in Regina says her aim is to help educate and heal.

Kelly Csada has Crohn's disease. For years, she has relied on different prescriptions to combat her illness. Csada said she wanted something more natural, so she turned to medical marijuana. Specifically, a small dab of marijuana-based oil known as 'Phoenix Tears'.

"I found a dispensary in Whitewood at Christmas after I'd spent three weeks in the hospital. They had the Phoenix Tears there, so I tried the oil and I slowly got myself off all my narcotics," Csada said.

"I don't take anything for pain anymore, all I take is the oil."

Csada has opened up KELZ Medical Services Corporation on Dewdney Avenue in Regina. Her store specializes in marijuana-based creams, salves and oils.

"I just decided I wanted do this. I want bring it to the public I want to educate people," Csada said.

In discussing her journey and plan to open the shop, Csada said everyone was curious.

"They just didn't understand how this plant can help people and all the different aspects of it and that you don't have to use it to get high, you can use it to help your body," Csada said.

Csada says KELZ Medical Services Corporation is a non-profit corporation and she is not interested in hiding what she is doing.

"I'm being as open as I can. I have a Facebook. I have a website. I'm talking to people," Csada said. 

Csada said she has gone to Regina Mayor Michael Fougere, the RCMP and the Regina Police Service to let them know she was starting a medical marijuana business. She said she insisted the Regina Police open a file on her business. 

Dispensaries currently illegal

Even though Csada has been open about her business, Health Canada considers what she's doing illegal. 

"Health Canada does not authorize the operation of retail storefronts, such as 'compassion clubs' or 'dispensaries'."

There are currently 35 licensed marijuana producers and sellers in Canada, including two in Saskatchewan, KELZ is not one of them.

Csada said she would love to have a license.

Regina police weigh in

The Regina Police Service are reminding business owners to familiarize themselves with Health Canada regulations around the sale of marijuana products.

"I will be very clear, businesses, storefronts or other organizations that sell cannabis marijuana in the city of Regina — whether they call themselves compassion clubs, dispensaries, or other names — are not authorized to sell cannabis for medical or any other purposes and are subject to law enforcement action by the Regina Police Service," said acting Police Chief Corey Zaharuk.

The acting chief would not discuss specific businesses but said if there is a law being broken police will investigate.

"None of the regulations permit a store or a business to sell marijuana," Zaharuk said. "Social attitudes towards marijuana are changing but the police are in a role where we are obligated to enforce existing laws."

Marijuana laws changing

On August 24, the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations come into effect, allowing Canadians who need marijuana for medical purposes to be able to 'produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes, or designate someone to produce it for them'.

In addition, the federal government announced it plans to legalize marijuana in 2017. The specifics are still a bit hazy.