Pubdate: Thu, 02 Mar 2017
Source: Brant News (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Metroland
Author: Colleen Toms


Marijuana dispensary determined to make pot accessible, regardless of
response of law enforcement

"We have nothing to hide," Cannabis Culture employee Mat Ferguson said
about 30 minutes before Brantford police officers raided the facility
for a second time in as many days.

After shutting down the Colborne Street West marijuana dispensary and
arresting a 36-year-old Stoney Creek man who was charged with two
counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of
property obtained by crime on Tuesday night, officers were back at the
facility Friday laying charges against four other people.

At the time, Cannabis Culture was open for business and serving
clientele eight to 15 different strains of marijuana-related products
from pot and hashish to cannabis oil, in several price ranges.

"We do some concentrated stuff but mostly flowers," Ferguson said
while displaying some of the marijuana varieties. "We have sativa
which is more for the daytime so it's not going to make you tired, and
indica, which is more for nighttime, it's going to help you sleep and
help with relaxation."

The store reopened for business after officers conducted a search of
the premises Wednesday and confiscated 2,389 grams of marijuana, 285
grams of hashish, $1,608 in Canadian currency, packaging materials and
scales. The combined street value of the drugs is about $31,000.

"We opened as soon as the cruisers pulled off our property, we just
didn't have product to sell," Ferguson said. "We invited everybody in
who was helping us protest, we gave people T-shirts and souvenirs just
to show our appreciation.

"We stayed open most of the night so people could come in and ask
questions, to let them know that it is safe, we're not afraid so they
shouldn't be afraid."

On Thursday morning, Cannabis Culture opened again with more product
to sell.

"It's business as usual here," Ferguson said Friday. "The City of
Brantford has embraced us with open arms. Even people who weren't
buying were just coming in to say 'hi' and to tell us that they
support us. "

Ferguson said the store sells cannabis for "recreational" use but
employees are more than happy to fill medical marijuana

"We're down for helping people but we're not going to hide under the
guise of being a medicinal dispensary," he said. "We even have
products that are non-psychoactive. All of our topicals are THC and
CBD infused; they're great for pain.

"There's tons of benefits to the plant that aren't

Ferguson acknowledged on Friday that the store would more than likely
be raided again but said Cannabis Culture, which was founded by well
known Canadian pot activist Marc Emery (also known as the Prince of
Pot), is determined to make marijuana accessible.

"We're just going to keep trucking," Ferguson said. "We put ourselves
out there so other people don't have to. This is what we think
legalization should look like and we're kind of setting the bar for
that, and if we have to be the fall guys because of that, I'm totally
fine with that.

"You should be able to go into a controlled environment that's safe,
with an open sign, with security, with knowledgeable employees."

Cannabis Culture sells to people 19 and over. Ferguson envisions the
facility as a space where people can go, sit in a lounge area, play
pool, see live music and standup comedy.

"We want a place where people can come down and hang … there's no
other place for cannabis users to do that other than their house," he
said. "We're a Canadian company that employs Canadians, all of our
product is grown and trimmed in Canada, there's very few companies
like us."

On Friday, police seized another 1,029 grams of marijuana with a
street value of $10,290, five grams of hashish worth $100, $4,100 in
Canadian currency, packaging materials and scales.

A 30-year-old male was charged with trafficking, three counts of
possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of property
obtained by crime; a 29-year-old female was charged with trafficking
and three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking; a
25-year-old male was charged with trafficking and three counts of
possession for the purpose of trafficking; and a 53-year-old male was
charged with trafficking and three counts of possession for the
purpose of trafficking.

All have been released on promises to appear in court.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt