The Saskatoon Police Service has defended its raid of an unlicensed pot dispensary, also known as a compassion club, this week – but it turns out police in other parts of the country take a different approach to such stores.
There are more than 100 compassion clubs and marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver, but the police don’t bother with them much. Vancouver police constable and media officer, Brian Montague, said they have bigger things to worry about .
“We have things like cocaine, and heroin, and fentanyl, and methamphetamine that are killing people. Marijuana dispensaries and marijuana stores have been a low priority for us.”
The businesses may be illegal, but they’re licensed by the city. Montague said the criminal code is a poor tool to shut down a business, that it’s more for the city to regulate land use.
According to Montague they aren’t ignoring the federal law, but give their officers discretion over enforcement.
Most of the stores are being operated in an unconcerning manner, but Montague said there are some which have caught their attention. Eleven shops have been served search warrants in the past couple of years.
“Selling to young people, connections with organized crime, and things like that. So, there are situations where these marijuana stores have not been a priority, but they’ve become a priority for us.”
Montague said the response to this policy from the public has, thus far, been positive.