For the second time in barely over a month, a reported break-in has led to a police investigation of a storefront allegedly selling marijuana.
Officers were called out around 9:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of a break-in at Cloud 9 Medical Marijuana Clinic, on the 2100 block of St. George Avenue.
They arrived to find the glass door to the business smashed.
However, the break-in call reportedly switched gears once officers saw marijuana on the premises.
Members of the Saskatoon Integrated Drug Enforcement Street Team (SIDEST) came back and seized raw cannabis, as well as edibles and other cannabis derivatives.
The case shares common elements with another incident that happened Feb. 27. In that case, the Canna-World Medical Cannabis Clinic and Dispensary at 611 3rd Avenue North was apparently the target of a break-in, leading to a police investigation into the business after responding officers saw marijuana.
Det.-Sgt. Robin Wintermute with SIDEST said Tuesday it was too early to tell if the break-ins were linked beyond simply having similar targets.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had much co-operation from the owners in reporting the break-ins, so these are just concerned citizens calling in insecure properties,” he said.
Wintermute said the presence of marijuana on-site coupled with the business owners being unlikely to call police was likely a tempting combination for thieves.
“These are targets of opportunity for a criminal element.”
Pointing to a recent spate of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the city, Wintermute said unlicensed cannabis stores were not SIDEST’s highest priority.
“There’s bigger things going on in the city and we recognize that legalization is pending.” he said.
That said, Wintermute stressed selling cannabis out of a storefront remains illegal for now and he didn’t rule out enforcement coming against other operators.
“We’re not turning a blind eye to it, just because we’re not out in the media, that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening in the background from an investigative point of view,” he said.
As of late Tuesday morning, police reported investigators were still working to identify everyone involved in operating Cloud 9.