Police raid controversial pot dispensary in Whitewood, Sask.

The owner of a controversial marijuana dispensary in Whitewood, Sask. is facing a string of charges after police raided his business on Tuesday.

Jerry Martin, 46, facing 7 charges

Jerry Martin showing some of the product available at his dispensary last year. (CBC)

The owner of a controversial marijuana dispensary in Whitewood, Sask. is facing a string of charges after police raided his business on Tuesday. 

Jerry Matthew Martin, 45, sparked debate in his community last year after contributing funds from his medical marijuana dispensary to local emergency services, a kids' camp and facilities including the town library.

At about 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Broadview RCMP launched a raid on both the business, Martin Medical Services, and a residence. 

Whitewood is 175 kilometres east of Regina. 

The storefront of Whitewood's marijuana dispensary, Martin Medical Services. (CBC)

Owner charged

They seized marijuana, hash oil, cellphones, computers, cash and three vehicles.  

Martin was charged with trafficking marijuana, trafficking cannabis resin, possession of marijuana, possession of cannabis resin, possession of proceeds of crime, trafficking proceeds of crime and laundering proceeds of crime. 

His first court appearance was at the Broadview Provincial Court on Wednesday. He was released on conditions and is scheduled to appear again on Nov. 23, 2016. 

The RCMP said the investigation was ongoing. 

A photograph of the products on offer at Martin's dispensary in 2015. (Angela Johnston/CBC)

Controversial figure 

In 2015, Martin's philanthropic contributions sparked community debate between those who thought he was a generous businessman, and others who thought the operation had a negative influence on young people. 

He told CBC News last November he had received a warning letter from Health Canada telling him to "cease all activities with controlled substances" or face RCMP enforcement action.

"I was scared and angry and hurt," Martin said of the letter at the time. "I couldn't quit."

He said last year he felt optimistic that the police approach to dispensaries would change after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected. 

One of the Liberal leader's election promises was to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana. 

Martin hoped new regulations would allow for dispensaries like his.