S&M Medicinal Sweet Shoppe operator Michelle Sikora said police came to her home Nov. 28 and confiscated $50,000 in product along with her laptop, computer and her husband’s vehicle.
“They made us stay in the living room. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures or videotape anything that was going on or they were going to arrest us and take us to jail,” Sikora said.
Sikora and her husband, who has a MMAR license to grow his own cannabis, specialize in the production of cannabis edibles, teas, tinctures and oils.
Sikora’s husband suffers from PTSD and major depressive disorder that he treats with cannabis, she said the raid has triggered his symptoms and, without his vehicle, he’s unable to bring his therapy dog with him.
No charges were laid by police during the raid but RCMP said they may come at a later date.
An RCMP statement said the raid came after a lengthy police investigation and the business was targeted for operating in a residential neighbourhood and allegedly not requiring medical documentation from customers.
“Police received complaints from numerous neighbours relating to the increased traffic to and from the residence, and about the prominent advertising displayed in their yard,” the statement read. “They also offered internet ordering and delivery options, meaning anyone could go online and order marihuana-infused products to be delivered to their door.”
The business owners were not abiding by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, nor were they in line with the recent court decisions relating to cannabis derivatives or edible marihuana product, said Cst. Harrison Mohr.
But most concerning to us was that the business did not have any restrictions in place on whom they would sell their products to.
Sikora said the allegations against her business are untrue and that they largely stem from one neighbour that moved in recently.
“He’s a disgraced Edmonton police officer that moved in here two years ago,” Sikora said. “We’ve been in our home for 18 years and never had an issue until this guy moved in next door. Now we’ve had the cops at our house eight times (including the raid) in the last four months.”
Sikora said attempts to talk with the neighbour failed, and he had distributed letters to the rest of the community warning them that Sikora and her husband were operating a drug manufacturing lab and involved with gangs.
At a Nov. 18 city council meeting, Sikora said she thought she was on track to receive a business licence from Sechelt.
“At the end of the meeting the mayor came up to us and said ‘how fast can you guys have your business out of your house?'” Sikora recalled. “We thought he meant they were giving us a business licence — that was the whole reason we were there.”
“The following week we were raided by the RCMP.”
Sechelt mayor Bruce Milne recently said that no one on council was interested in moving further with the licensing of Sikora’s business.
“From a municipal perspective, my main concern is activities in the residential neighbourhood and that there is a way that solves those that works well for people,” Milne said. “We really don’t want to start treading into federal criminal law, and that’s the other delicate side of this. We’re working as well as we can to be supportive of the RCMP, our policing, and also to work within community values, and it’s a bit of a balancing act right now.”
Sikora said she’s still in a state of shock after the raid and has called lawyers to determine next steps.
“We’re not giving up, we have way too many people that rely on us now that we can’t just turn our back on,” Sikora said.