Twelve people are facing drug charges after six medical marijuana dispensaries in Saint John were raided by police on Tuesday morning as part of a joint-forces operation.
The 10 a.m. raids stemmed from an investigation by the Saint John Police Force integrated street crime unit over the past “couple of months,” said Sgt. Charles Breen.
All 12 individuals are either owners or employees of the pot shops and are being charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, Breen said.
They were all arrested without incident and were expected to be released on a promise to appear in court May 2, he said.
Breen could not comment on what items were seized. Officers remained at the dispensaries into the afternoon, collecting evidence, he said. More details are expected by Wednesday morning.
No other raids are planned, said Breen. But if the six locations reopen, they “will be revisited again by our department,” he said.
“The execution of today’s search warrants at the unlicensed Saint John medical marijuana dispensaries should not come as a surprise to anybody,” Chief John Bates said in a statement.
“We have been very clear and direct while stating our position that it was our belief these unlicensed dispensaries were operating outside of the law. As such, we undertook an investigation which has culminated in today’s raids.”
The search warrants were executed at the following locations:
Medicinal Grounds, 104 Prince William St. Medicinal Grounds, 505 Rothesay Ave. BCW, 8 Simpson Dr. King Canna, 76 Germain St. HBB Medical Inc., 1714 Rothesay Rd. HBB Medical Inc., 199 Chesley Dr.
Although the federal Liberal Party has announced plans to legalize marijuana this spring, the plant remains illegal under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.