Pubdate: Fri, 22 Dec 2017
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Claire Theobald
Page: A3


Owner of one business said he 'wanted to be a role model' for future

City police have shut down two south Edmonton cannabis operations, but
the owner of one says he was just trying to help medical marijuana
patients fill their prescriptions.

"I really wanted to be a role model for the city and to get this done
right. I wanted them to work with me, not against me," David
Tiefenbach, one of the owners of MediJoint, 7809 109 St., said Thursday.

Tiefenbach said he was trying to establish a legitimate dispensary,
which police raided and closed Dec.13.

He said he only offered cannabis products to "patients" with a
prescription and said his clients were people between the ages of 18
and 88 who suffered a variety of ailments, including cancer and
multiple sclerosis.

"It got more and more important after hearing the stories from the
patients, thanking us every day that they can actually come in and see
their product, feel their product, smell their product, know exactly
what they were getting before they got it," Tiefenbach said.

Tiefenbach hoped his business would serve as a pilot for future
cannabis dispensaries in Edmonton, and said he was willing to adhere
to whatever regulations were put in place as the government of Canada
works to legalize marijuana July 1.

Regardless of intent, police will enforce the law as it stands, Insp.
Shane Perka, with the Edmonton police organized crime branch, told a
news conference Thursday.

"We want the owners and the employees of these illegal cannabis
operations to be aware that they are breaking the law, and that we'll
continue to enforce that law until such time that the laws are
changed," Perka said outside police headquarters.

In a separate bust, police raided a building near 46 Avenue and 101
Street on Nov. 30 where investigators allegedly found a grow-op with
100 marijuana plants and a sophisticated distribution centre stocked
with large quantities of cannabis and cannabis products.

Perka acknowledged the MediJoint operation was "more of a

"I am convinced that several of the customers attending that location,
the way it was set up, truly believed it was a legitimate regulated
dispensary, when in fact, it wasn't."

Tiefenbach said his business was licensed; however, city officials
said the business had originally been issued a personal services
licence, but had been ordered to stop operations until it acquired a
retail services licence, which still wouldn't permit it to sell
illegal drugs.

That stop order was lifted Dec. 20 when the business was granted an
extension until a hearing in February.

Two people were charged in relation to the suspected grow-op near 46
Avenue and 101 Street, while as many as five people could face charges
from the MediJoint bust.
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