It's been two weeks since Coquitlam's first and only medical pot dispensary opened up, and so far, its owners say the police haven't popped by for a visit.
But, that hasn't stopped local Mounties from weighing in on the activities of the Coquitlam Natural Path Society, which runs the shop located in Village Square.
It also doesn't mean the police won't be dropping in on the dispensary at a later date.
On Thursday, Coquitlam RCMP issued a press release they called "factual information" on medical marijuana dispensaries.
In it, without naming the society, the police suggested there is "no legal mechanism available in Canada today" which allows for a self-described "medical marihuana (sic) dispensary" or "compassion club" to function.
Police also note there is no legal mechanism under Health Canada's Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) to have excess marijuana from licensed growers sent to a dispensary to be sold to others.
Mounties also warned owners or employees of these dispensaries they may be charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, should evidence exist to support a charge, while anyone showing up at such a location to purchase marijuana from persons at the dispensary has no legal authority to do so.
RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said there is no evidence to categorize the Coquitlam dispensary as illegal, but he added police do monitor such enterprises to make sure no criminal offences are being committed.
He said Mounties are aware of the dispensary, but wouldn't say whether the non-profit society is being investigated.
"At this time I can't say one way or the other if there are any plans on doing anything about it," Chung said, adding the press release was intended to clarify the RCMP's position on the issue. "We're doing it because of public safety, a lot of times these places are being targeted by criminals."
The RCMP also acknowledged they haven't received any complaints from the public about the dispensary.
The society's founder and president, Christopher MacLeod, told The NOW that, other than an unmarked cop car passing by once, he's been left alone.
"I haven't heard any reaction from the police yet. I'm kind of hoping to not hear from them," he said, adding however, the RCMP statement does make him a bit concerned he could be targeted.
As for business, MacLeod said it's been brisk. He noted the society has signed up 55 members since opening its doors, 90 per cent hav-ing government issued MMAR numbers.
"It's really helping the community," MacLeod said.
The dispensary was opened to provide medical cannabis from its storefront operation to people who have a legitimate medical need for the drug.
MacLeod said the society gets its product from the excess produced by licensed users who grow their own pot, but under federal rules aren't allowed to keep large amounts.
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