Crown Drops Several Charges Against Raided Saskatoon Dispensary

Authorities have dropped all charges related to cannabis derivatives against the four Saskatoon residents charged in part of an October raid against a local dispensary.

Mark Phillip Hauk, Lane Anthony Britnell, Jaime Michelle Hagel and Carson Jocelyn Ramsay all still face criminal trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime related to dried cannabis. The four remain out on bail.

Prosecutor Janelle Khan said the crown dropped the derivative charges after reviewing the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision last year in R v Smith which stated that medical cannabis patients had the right to access their medicine in forms other than dried cannabis.

“It was not illegal for the defendants, at the time of the incidents, to be in possession of the marijuana derivatives because we’ve confirmed they all have valid medical marijuana authorizations,” Khan said.

“Currently, the federal Crown takes the position that anyone with a medical marijuana authorization should be going to a licensed producer,” she said. “But at the time of the arrest of the defendants, there was no licensed producer that had a licence to sell medical marijuana derivatives.”

Saskatchewan Compassion Club operator Hauk said on Facebook that the group is pleased with what he called an “inevitable” development but remain “very angry and still very frustrated.”

“The Crown has verified what we have been saying from day one, back this spring,” said Hauk. “‘The current federal system does not provide reasonable access to medical cannabis, and associated derivatives’. Plain and simple. And it was the sole reason we did what we did.”

Hauk took the Saskatoon police to task in his comments, questioning how, after a six-week undercover investigation the authorities were unable to determine which charges were warranted.

“How much money, time and resources were allocated to laying all of those charges that were promptly thrown out of court?” Hauk wrote. “The decision makers behind the raiding of our club have some serious, serious explaining to do.”

“Their actions were unwarranted, unjustified, and based on some bold, straight-faced lies.”