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‘Tip of the iceberg’: apparent RCMP raid at Greenwood marijuana dispensary

Debbie Stultz-Giffin is the chair of registered non-profit Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana society and says she fears the Sept. 21 apparent RCMP raid at Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc. in Greenwood was “but the tip of the iceberg,” and that more RCMP raids will follow before federal legalization arrives this October.
Debbie Stultz-Giffin is the chair of registered non-profit Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana society and says she fears the Sept. 21 apparent RCMP raid at Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc. in Greenwood was “but the tip of the iceberg,” and that more RCMP raids will follow before federal legalization arrives this October. - Sara Ericsson

Owners of dispensaries in New Minas, Middleton also reportedly raided Sept. 21

GREENWOOD – An apparent RCMP raid was conducted and products seized at a marijuana dispensary Sept. 21 in Greenwood.

An RCMP SUV was stationed outside the Higher Living Wellness Centre marijuana dispensary in Greenwood at 1:30 p.m. as officers could be seen putting products from inside the store into brown, cardboard boxes.

Business owner Heidi Chartrand, who also owns a second location in Dartmouth, arrived in Greenwood after the raid took place. She said two people working at the store were arrested at the scene, and that their vehicles remain parked outside the dispensary.

“I know for sure that one of my staff and one of my volunteers were arrested,” she said.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke did not confirm where raids took place, nor whether arrests happened.

“I know raids happened. As to where and when? You got me,” she said.

Also present at the dispensary was Bridgetown resident Debbie Stultz-Giffin, chair of registered non-profit Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana society.

“My biggest concern is that this is but the tip of the iceberg. This day in particular is the catalyst for the rest of the dispensaries in the province being raided, I fear, and stymied by the government,” she said.

Chartrand and Stultz-Giffin both said the owners of three other dispensaries confirmed their businesses were also raided by RCMP.

“In light of legalization looming in less than a month, it hardly seems coincidental that we’re hearing of now the fourth dispensary in this area being raided by the police,” said Stultz-Giffin.

“We think it’s a deliberate effort on behalf of the combined federal and provincial governments to stymie and put an end to medical dispensaries.”

Chartrand, who lives in Hammonds Plains, began operating dispensaries in April 2016. She owns a second Higher Living location in Dartmouth, which was raided by police Aug. 7.

She said she feels “really, really angry” after this second apparent raid.

“They look at it like we’re criminals, but they’re refusing to see the patients on the other end of it, who willingly buy this product. If there’s no victim, then how is there a crime?” she said.

Chartrand said she will remain in contact with her patients as she assesses what products were removed from the store, and how to proceed. She said she remains unsure whether the dispensary will open again.

“They didn’t give us the O.K. to open up to begin with, so I doubt they’d allow that,” she said.

RCMP declined to provide further comment on the incident.

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