Saskatoon

Police still wrestling with illegal cannabis dispensary in downtown Saskatoon

At least one rogue medical cannabis dispensary in Saskatoon is still continuing to sell a variety of cannabis products in the face of a written request from police to desist.

Store apparently ignoring letter asking for voluntary compliance

This dispensary is still open for business on 2nd Avenue South. (CBC)

At least one rogue medical cannabis dispensary in downtown Saskatoon is still selling cannabis products, despite a written request from Saskatoon Police to voluntarily comply with new rules.

An Alberta political science professor suggests it's only a matter of time before Ottawa forces these "grey market" dispensaries to close.

"That's what it comes down to, right? The federal government has defined what legal product is, and if they're not selling legal product then they're operating illegally," said Jared Wesley.

"Those days are done. Just a matter of how aggressively governments want to go after them to try to shut them down immediately."

There were at least four unlicensed outlets in Saskatoon on Oct. 17, the day that recreational cannabis became legal. Police delivered letters to the outlets within a week of the law change.

Three of the outlets closed.

But doors to the Saskatoon Cannabis Clinic on 2nd Avenue South remain open. It's unclear who actually owns and operates the store.

Individuals may buy from the dispensary after filling out a brief form where, among things, they are asked what ailment they are attempting to treat with cannabis. There is no requirement for an applicant to provide any supporting medical documentation, beyond government photo ID verifying their identity and age.

According to city, the store is not operating with a business license.

According to the police letter, the company is not a federally-licensed producer.

Staff approached by CBC refused to identify the store's manager, or who owned it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Zakreski is a reporter for CBC Saskatoon.

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