Pubdate: Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2018 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Author: Arthur White-Crummey
Page: A1


With some marijuana dispensaries still open in spite of repeated
warnings, the Regina Police Service is now taking its campaign to the
shops' landlords.

About two weeks ago, police sent letters to property owners informing
them that their pot-shop tenants are committing a criminal offence.
Selling cannabis out of storefronts remains illegal.

According to police spokesperson Les Parker, the letters also conveyed
that the properties "may be subject to forfeiture" if sales continue.
He cited a provision of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that
allows courts to order the seizure of "offence-related property."

Parker said police do not have an exact count of how many marijuana
dispensaries remain open at this time. "The number fluctuates weekly,"
he told the Leader-Post in an emailed response.

At least one dispensary owner plans to stay open despite the latest
police tactic. Pat Warnecke, who operates Best Buds Society in
Regina's Warehouse District, said his landlord received a call from
police, rather than a letter.

"They phoned him," Warnecke said. "They said they could seize the

The landlord was not immediately available for comment. Warnecke said
the landlord has been "very supportive" and hasn't yet asked Best Buds
Society to cease operations.

But the letter did seem to create uncertainty for the dispensary, with
the landlord reportedly unsure about how he'll react.

"He said that obviously could change anytime," Warnecke explained. "If
they're really getting on him, and threatening too much, well, he'd
have to think about it."

Warnecke is contemplating seeking an injunction to stay open, arguing
that shutting down would put patients' health is at risk. He has
already sent a massive information package to city hall, prompting a
response from Mayor Michael Fougere.

"I understand your passion for serving clients with medical needs,"
the mayor wrote. "But City Council has no say or influence in the
legalities surrounding cannabis.

"I encourage you to speak with Chief Evan Bray and his service members
about those laws and their planned actions against dispensaries."
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