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Pot, cash and taser seized in Wahnapitae raid

From link to article by Jim Moodie, January 30, 2018

Hundreds of edible pot products and a taser were among the items seized by Anishinabek Police during a raid of a marijuana dispensary on the Wahnapitae First Nation last week.

“There are a lot of exhibits, and investigators haven’t put a dollar value to the material yet,” said Insp. Marc Lesage.

The police service did provide a breakdown Tuesday, however, of the substances taken and their quantity.

Material seized under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act included: 738.5 grams of marijuana, 35 grams of shatter (cannabis concentrate), 335.8 grams of cannabis resin, 289.5 grams of hash and hundreds of edible pot products.

Anishinabek Police also seized $3,218.25 in cash from the pot business and a taser, which is a prohibited weapon.

Asked why a businessperson would want a conducted energy weapon at their fingertips, Lesage said he couldn’t say for sure but “would assume for security in case of a robbery.”

Either way, a taser is definitely not something the public is entitled to own or use, he said.

Officers executed a search warrant on Thursday evening at First Nations Medicinal on Loonway Road on Wahnapitae First Nation, arresting three individuals affiliated with the business.

Lesage said charges are still pending but in the meantime the three were released without conditions.

The inspector said there was nothing to stop the store from reopening in the meantime, although further arrests could be made if marijuana continues to be sold illegally.

On Tuesday First Nations Medicinal indeed said, through its Facebook page, that it plans to reopen this Friday, but only to sell pot to medicinal users.

“Got raided for selling recreational,” wrote owner Chadwick McGregor, in response to a question about why the store was closed. “Opening back up strictly medical till July 1st.”

None of the individuals arrested Thursday evening will be identified until such time as charges are laid, said Lesage, but he confirmed all three were connected to the business.

The raid was carried out smoothly and the individuals did not resist police, he said.

“There were a number of officers there but it was without incident,” he said. “There were no high-risk takedowns.”

The upstart dispensary began selling pot products this past September for both medicinal and recreational use. McGregor told other media sources he believed he was operating within the law.

But while the federal government is poised to legalize pot in July, at present it remains illegal to sell the substance for recreational use.

“It’s in contravention of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act,” said Lesage. “There’s talk of it being legalized in the summer of this year, but obviously that hasn’t happened yet.”

Lesage said chief and council of Wahnapitae First Nation expressed concerns about the business and the police service began investigating the situation a few months ago.

“Drug investigations do take some time to complete,” he said.

While First Nations are semi-autonomous and can make their own rules to some extent, Lesage said as far as the Anishinabek Police Service is concerned, that leeway doesn’t extend to drug sales.

“The criminal code applies and we enforce the criminal code, as well as the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in this regard,” he said. “It’s no different than it being in Capreol, in my opinion.”

The matter remains under investigation by members of the Nipissing/Dokis/Wahnapitae detachment of the Anishinabek Police.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the detachment at 705-472-0270 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-TIPS.

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