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Kelly Anderson, Saskatoon Man, Claims Pot Shop Closure Is Discriminatory

SASKATOON -- A man has launched a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission over a police raid on a Saskatoon medical marijuana dispensary.

Kelly Anderson took the action Friday after police arrested four people at the Saskatchewan Compassion Club on Oct. 29, including owner Mark Hauk.

The complaint names Mayor Don Atchison and police chief Clive Weighill.

Anderson says the unlicensed club was the only place he felt safe purchasing marijuana to treat his chronic pain caused by a weakening of one knee and surgery on the other.

He says the closure of the dispensary denies him access to his medicine and is therefore discriminating against his condition.


Saskatoon police explain marijuana dispensary charges

Five days after the Saskatoon police raided the Saskatchewan Compassion Club and charged four of its employees with drug trafficking, the service has released a public statement clarifying its reasons for the raid and the arrests. 

Attributed to spokeswoman Alyson Edwards, the release stated that the Saskatchewan Compassion Club, a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Saskatoon, "was operating without a licence from Health Canada under the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations."

"It is an offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to possess or sell (traffic) marijuana. The compassion club received a letter from Health Canada warning them to stop operation or face legal consequences," the release stated. 


Saskatoon marijuana dispensary re-opens amid owner's legal battle

SASKATOON – Computer equipment, doughnuts and cash are among the donations going to an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in Saskatoon after it was raided last week, according to its owner. The Saskatchewan Compassion Club re-opened its doors Monday morning after being shut-down by police last Thursday.

Mark Hauk, the dispensary’s owner, said a number of people have donated items to him after police seized his operational equipment.

“We needed some computer equipment,” said Hauk, who opened the club roughly two months ago and was arrested in the raid.

“It’s all been taken from us, so we’ve had a handful of computers come through the door,” he added.


Saskatchewan Compassion Club reopens without marijuana

"I only wanted to help people who needed their medicine," compassion club owner Mark Hauk said Monday. (Devin Heroux/CBC News)

The Saskatchewan Compassion Club has reopened its doors after being raided by Saskatoon police last week — but you won't find any marijuana inside. 

Police took the unlicensed dispensary's stock when they arrested owner Mark Hauk and three others on Thursday. All of them are facing drug-related charges including trafficking and possession. Saskatoon Police say the charges relate to selling marijuana to recreational users and people with marijuana prescriptions. Because the facility is not licensed with Health Canada, any sale of drugs is considered illegal.


Charged owner to reopen Saskatoon marijuana dispensary today

Mark Hauk, the owner of an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in Saskatoon, says he'll reopen his dispensary today, after spending Thursday night in jail and Friday morning in front of a judge to face drug trafficking charges related to his business.

"I don't have a condition that I can't be at the store," Hauk said at a protest staged in front of the Saskatoon police headquarters on Saturday afternoon.

He was released on $1,000 bail on Friday morning after appearing before a judge at Provincial Court.

"To be there and do advocacy work, it's not a breach of conditions, it's not against the law. And it's work that needs to be done," he said, noting he'll be providing "advice to patients in any way that they need it."


Future could be bright for marijuana dispensaries

Experts are mulling over the future of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Dispensaries, designed to help people gain access to medical marijuana more easily, have been controversial in many parts of the country.

On Thursday, Saskatoon Police arrested four people connected to the Saskatchewan Compassion Club, charging them with drug trafficking.

Since the incoming Liberal government has promised to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana, the question of how the new government will handle dispensaries has become top of mind.


Marijuana dispensary owner charged with trafficking; released on $1K bail

Mark Hauk, the 36-year-old owner of Saskatoon's unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary, has been charged with drug trafficking and released on $1,000 bail after appearing in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Friday morning.

Speaking with reporters after he emerged from court mid-day on Friday, Hauk called the Saskatoon Police Service "gutless" for the manner in which they handled his arrest and charges.

"The actions the Saskatoon Police Service took yesterday were nothing short of shameful and gutless," he said. "I have had two meetings with Chief Weighill over the last three weeks, which he has postponed on me."

A Saskatoon police spokeswoman could not confirm that was the case.

4 arrests made in raid


Saskatchewan Compassion Club raided by Saskatoon police

The Saskatchewan Compassion Club has been raided by Saskatoon police and four people are facing charges including trafficking marijuana.

The club, which opened up in August, is designed to help people gain access to medical marijuana more easily.

Saskatoon police had previously warned founder Mark Hauk that the club would be closed down if it was found to be breaking the law.

Health Canada had also warned the dispensary that if it did not cease and desist activity, it would refer the file to the RCMP.

Police said two Saskatoon men, ages 24 and 36, and two Saskatoon women, ages 23 and 39, were arrested on Thursday. Their identities were not released.


Marijuana charges laid against four people, Saskatchewan Compassion Club raided

The doors were locked at the Saskatchewan Compassion Club and four people were arrested after a police investigation into Saskatoon's first medical marijuana dispensary.

Two Saskatoon men - ages 24 and 36 - along with two Saskatoon women - ages 23 and 39 - were arrested as part of what police dubbed Project Fextern. Search warrants were executed Thursday around 10:30 a.m. at a home in the 400 block of 109th Street West and the dispensary in the 200 block of Second Avenue North.

According to Insp. Dave Haye, the investigation dates back to September.

"It has nothing to do with any politics," Haye said at a Thursday press conference.

Haye maintained that while the club was acting as a legitimate business, it was acting illegally.


Sask. medical marijuana business owner won't close shop after warning

SASKATOON – The owner of a Saskatoon community medical marijuana dispensary says he will not close his doors after receiving a recent letter from Health Canada warning him to cease operations or face a police investigation. Mark Hauk, founder of the Saskatoon Compassion Club, says he opened the business in reaction to federal regulations he calls unreasonable. The only reason he says he would close his doors would be if those regulations were changed.

In its letter to Hauk and 12 other similar dispensaries across the country, Health Canada wrote that his operation must stop within 30 days or else the agency would turn his case over to RCMP. Hauk could face up a $5-million fine and spend as many as two years in prison.


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