Saskatchewan Compassion Club raided by Saskatoon police

The Saskatchewan Compassion Club has been raided by Saskatoon police.

Police say arrests 'have nothing to do with politics'

Sean Dew is a customer of the Saskatchewan Compassion Club

7 years ago
Duration 0:28
Sean Dew is a customer of the Saskatchewan Compassion Club

The Saskatchewan Compassion Club has been raided by Saskatoon police and four people are facing charges including trafficking marijuana.

The club, which opened up in August, is designed to help people gain access to medical marijuana more easily.

Saskatoon police had previously warned founder Mark Hauk that the club would be closed down if it was found to be breaking the law.

Health Canada had also warned the dispensary that if it did not cease and desist activity, it would refer the file to the RCMP.

Police said two Saskatoon men, ages 24 and 36, and two Saskatoon women, ages 23 and 39, were arrested on Thursday. Their identities were not released.

Two search warrants were executed at approximately 10:30 a.m. today at a home on the 400 block of 109 Street W. and at a business in the 200 block of Second Avenue N. 

The 36-year-old man is facing charges of trafficking marijuana and cannabis resin, possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana and possession of the proceeds of crime.

The two women are both facing trafficking and possession charges.

The 24 year old male is also facing charges of trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The four accused are scheduled to appear in Provincial Court on Friday.

Police say arrests 'have nothing to do with politics'

Speaking to reporters about the raid, Det. Insp. Dave Haye said both RCMP and Saskatoon police took part in the operation.

"They are marijuana trafficking so they are drug traffickers," Haye said.

He also said the timing of the raid had nothing to do with a change in the federal government. 

"This has nothing to do with any politics," he said, noting that the investigation began in September and the raid happened after the search warrants were ready. 

Haye said the investigation is not targeting customers of the Compassion Club. 

The detective inspector said the owner of the club was aware that arrests could happen. 

He said the doors of the club are locked for good and all products from the club have been seized. 

Customers say they will turn to black market 

Several Compassion Club customers came by the store today, unaware it had been raided. 

Customer Aaron Pittner said people who depend on edible marijuana products will be affected by the closure, especially cancer patients. 

"I really sympathize with them because the opiates that they put them on are even worse than the edibles that are here, and I just think it's sad," Pittner said.
Aaron Daniel Pittner is one of the Compassion Club customers who says he is disappointed to see the raid because he felt safe coming to the club. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

He added that he will still seek marijuana, but he'll have to turn to other sources.

"Now I have to go talk to other people and I'm not happy about that either because this was one place where I felt safe."

Sean Dew said he sought out marijuana from the club because he has Crohn's disease.

"If they go down then there's a ton of patients out there that are now stuck going back to black market. And I really think that's horrible."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?