Pubdate: Fri, 22 Dec 2017
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Claire Theobald
Page: 5


Cops close two cannabis dispensaries, multiple charges pending

City police have shut down two south Edmonton cannabis dispensaries,
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 made up of 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, flipping
through paperwork that outlined the different strains of marijuana
offered and the THC content of each type. 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.

"There was nothing to indicate that it was a storefront where
customers were actually coming in to purchase product," Perka said.
"More so, it was being mailed out or delivered from that location."

Perka acknowledged the Medijoint operation was "different."

"The second one was more of a storefront," said Perka. "There was a
requirement for a prescription to be produced in the storefront. Based
on the information that I have, 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

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.

He said he was not hiding his operation from anyone, and uniformed
officers had been through his business giving him advice on upgrading

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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