Pubdate: Thu, 04 Aug 2016
Source: Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Jeff Outhit
Page: A1


WATERLOO REGION - Police have shuttered a pot selling storefront and
that's welcome news to a different clinic that prescribes marijuana.

The Waterloo Dispensary on King Street North in Waterloo closed
Tuesday after police went there with a warrant and seized property.
There is no word on charges.

"We are looking at these dispensaries closely," said Alana Russell,
spokesperson for Waterloo Regional Police. "The sale of marijuana is
illegal, whether it is through a storefront or otherwise."

She said police continue to investigate.

The Waterloo Dispensary opened earlier this year. Its website says it
sells marijuana to medical patients.

Ronan Levy praised police for the raid and said he may contact them to
ensure they understand that his Kitchener marijuana clinic operates

Levy directs and partly owns the Canadian Cannabis Clinic on Glasgow
Street. Canadian Cannabis Clinic doesn't sell weed or keep it on the
premises. Rather, it sees patients who have a medical need and
connects them to licensed producers who send the drug by mail.

That's the lawful process for medical use that the federal government
has approved. Levy said his clinic would sell marijuana from a
storefront if the government approves it.

"We definitely understand that there are many advantages to be able to
purchase your cannabis from a storefront," he said. "It's probably a
lot easier and probably can be a more pleasant experience."

Levy argues that today's storefront pot retailers may put people's
health at risk if they sell contaminated drugs. "Who knows where it's
coming from," he said. "It creates risks that I don't think patients
who are using cannabis medically should be exposing themselves to."

Russell agrees, saying a lack of quality control may lead to an unsafe

"We want to make sure they're getting it through a legitimate source,
that they are approved through the government to access it," Russell

Levy figures the real purpose of pot shops is to sell to recreational
users. Storefront operations are trying to establish early in the
marketplace, he said, anticipating that Canada may soon legalize the

"I think the appropriate thing is to wait for the government to come
forward with a system they're going to implement to permit
recreational cannabis," he said. "You don't just get to jump the line
because you see it coming."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government intends to craft a
new marijuana law in 2017. It has warned that marijuana remains
illegal, with exceptions for medical use, until the new law is enacted.

"Our intent is to come up with legislation that will regulate
non-medical access to marijuana, keeping it out of the hands of
children and the hands of criminals," Justice Minister Jody Wilson
Raybould said in June.
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