Pubdate: Fri, 27 Oct 2017
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Jacquie Miller
Page: A4


The owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Gloucester has
apologized after emails were accidentally sent to 24 patients that
revealed the names and addresses of all the store's customers.

"Some people were obviously upset, for good reason," said Charlie
Cloutier, owner of Greenworks Medicinal on Canotek Road. Staff phoned
all the people who received the email to apologize and ask them to
delete it, he said.

The email contained the names and addresses of about 250 people who
are registered customers at Greenworks.

Unlike most of the dispensaries in town, Greenworks only sells to
customers with a doctor's prescription for marijuana. However, all the
dispensaries are illegal. Medical marijuana can only be legally
obtained by mail from producers licensed by Health Canada, such as
Tweed in Smiths Falls.

Cloutier said an employee was using a new computer program to send out
a form email reminder to customers that their doctor's prescriptions
were about to expire. Another window on the computer was open that
contained the address list of members. Somehow the program grabbed the
member list instead of the form letter, and the staffer only realized
the problem after 31 emails had been sent, he said. Seven of the
emails bounced back as return-tosender, so 24 people received the
email with the customer names and addresses.

"It was definitely done in error and it won't be done again," Cloutier
said. The dispensary will no longer send emails to patients, instead
contacting them in person, he said.

One Greenworks customer said she was astonished and upset when a
neighbour told her she had seen her name and address on an email from
Greenworks. It's a violation of privacy, she said, that could have
devastating consequences. One of the people on the list, for example,
could operate a daycare. "There are people who will lose their
business if other people find out they are buying from a

The woman did not want her name used. She said she only shopped at
Greenworks a couple of times, when the type of medical marijuana she
uses for pain was not available at Tweed. The shop, which is set up to
resemble a medical clinic, seemed professionally run, she said.

A privacy breach occurred at another marijuana dispensary a year ago
when Magna Terra Health Services accidentally sent an email to nearly
500 "clients and friends" that listed everyone's email address in the
"CC" field.

The two Magna Terra shops have since closed after police raided them
and charged owners and employees with drug trafficking.
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