The owner of a pot dispensary shop in downtown Saskatoon will keep his business open despite receiving an order to shut it down.
A letter from Health Canada states the Saskatchewan Compassion Club has 30 days to shutdown or face charges under the Food and Drug Act. The cease-and-desist letter which was received last Tuesday via email also states that the case would be referred to the RCMP for investigation.
Owner Mark Hauk is calling the letter shameful fear mongering and plans to ignore it.
“The order to stop all activities is not a reasonable one,” Hauk said.
“The whole reason that we are here is the federal medical marijuana program is unreasonable. It is unworkable. It causes people to suffer.”
The dispensary helps people with prescriptions get marijuana. The club nearly 400 clients since it opened on Aug. 17.
Hauk said he has been in touch with his lawyer but has not yet responded to the letter.
“The whole thing is very curious, right from the get-go,” he said.
“It’s not addressed to anyone in particular. It is not signed by anybody. In the beginning, we were struggling to believe if it was even real because it was delivered in the way that it was.”
Hauk said Health Canada has said it sent the letter out to 13 dispensaries across the country.
Since, Hauk said he has received calls from distraught patients who were “crying and wondering what’s going on.”
But not everyone shares the same confidence as Hauk.
Operating Martin Medical Services, a medical marijuana dispensary in Whitewood, Sask., for the past three years, Jerry Martin has locked the doors to his pot shop after reading the letter from Health Canada.
All that’s left is an answering-machine message of Martin explaining the threats.
“Hi you’ve reached Martin Medical Services and unfortunately we are no longer in business due to the threats from Stephen Harper, Rona Ambrose and Health Canada … five years in jail and a $5 million fine. We truly apologize, sorry.”