London Police say two males were arrested late Wednesday morning following the execution of a search warrant at an illegal Wharncliffe Rd. medicinal marijuana dispensary.
Very few details about the incident have been released by police, who said members of the Guns and Drugs Section conducted the search warrant at Tasty Budd’s just before noon with assistance from uniformed officers.
The identities of the two men have not been released, and police say charges have not yet been laid. A quantity of marijuana and marijuana edibles were seized during the search, and the investigation is continuing, police said.
Tasty Budd’s, the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary, opened at 96 Wharncliffe Rd. just last Friday. The London dispensary is the sixth Tasty Budd’s to open in Canada. Four other locations have opened in Nova Scotia and one is open in New Brunswick.
The opening of Tasty Budd’s in London came a day after Health Canada announced changes to medicinal marijuana regulations which come into effect next week.
Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) comes into force Aug. 24 and allows Canadians who have been authorized by their health care practitioner to register to grow their own marijuana or designate someone to produce it for them.
The decision was made in reaction to a federal court case (Allard v. Canada) earlier this year regarding the Tory government’s Marihuana for Medical Pusposes Regulations (MMPR), which ruled that only being able to access cannabis legally through licensed producers restricted a user’s “reasonable access.”
Health Canada says approximately 28,000 Canadians have authorization to possess and licences to produce marijuana for medical purposes under court injunctions. The changes are just a short-term plan until the federal legalization of marijuana, Health Canada said. A law is expected to be tabled in spring 2017.
Under current Health Canada regulations, and the regulations set to come into effect next week, storefront operations like Tasty Budd’s are not legally authorized to sell cannabis in Canada for medical or other purposes.
“Illegal storefront distribution and sale of cannabis are subject to law enforcement action,” said Health Canada in a media release last Thursday. “The only legal commercial source of safe, quality-controlled cannabis for medical purposes in Canada is through purchase directly from one of the 34 producers licenced by Health Canada.”
According to an Aug. 7 report in the London Free Press, Tasty Budd’s owner Mal McMeekin said he had not consulted with London Police about his dispensary, and told the outlet it was because he felt it was a “100 per cent legitimate business.” A London Police spokesperson is quoted in the same article as saying officials were aware of the dispensary but added no further comment or details about “possible investigations” could be released.
With files from Jacqueline Wilson of Global News.