Saskatchewan Compassion Club reopens without marijuana

"I only wanted to help people who needed their medicine," compassion club owner Mark Hauk said Monday. (Devin Heroux/CBC News)

The Saskatchewan Compassion Club has reopened its doors after being raided by Saskatoon police last week — but you won't find any marijuana inside. 

Police took the unlicensed dispensary's stock when they arrested owner Mark Hauk and three others on Thursday. All of them are facing drug-related charges including trafficking and possession. Saskatoon Police say the charges relate to selling marijuana to recreational users and people with marijuana prescriptions. Because the facility is not licensed with Health Canada, any sale of drugs is considered illegal.


Charged owner to reopen Saskatoon marijuana dispensary today

Mark Hauk, the owner of an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in Saskatoon, says he'll reopen his dispensary today, after spending Thursday night in jail and Friday morning in front of a judge to face drug trafficking charges related to his business.

"I don't have a condition that I can't be at the store," Hauk said at a protest staged in front of the Saskatoon police headquarters on Saturday afternoon.

He was released on $1,000 bail on Friday morning after appearing before a judge at Provincial Court.

"To be there and do advocacy work, it's not a breach of conditions, it's not against the law. And it's work that needs to be done," he said, noting he'll be providing "advice to patients in any way that they need it."


Future could be bright for marijuana dispensaries

Experts are mulling over the future of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Dispensaries, designed to help people gain access to medical marijuana more easily, have been controversial in many parts of the country.

On Thursday, Saskatoon Police arrested four people connected to the Saskatchewan Compassion Club, charging them with drug trafficking.

Since the incoming Liberal government has promised to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana, the question of how the new government will handle dispensaries has become top of mind.


Marijuana dispensary owner charged with trafficking; released on $1K bail

Mark Hauk, the 36-year-old owner of Saskatoon's unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary, has been charged with drug trafficking and released on $1,000 bail after appearing in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Friday morning.

Speaking with reporters after he emerged from court mid-day on Friday, Hauk called the Saskatoon Police Service "gutless" for the manner in which they handled his arrest and charges.

"The actions the Saskatoon Police Service took yesterday were nothing short of shameful and gutless," he said. "I have had two meetings with Chief Weighill over the last three weeks, which he has postponed on me."

A Saskatoon police spokeswoman could not confirm that was the case.

4 arrests made in raid


Saskatchewan Compassion Club raided by Saskatoon police

The Saskatchewan Compassion Club has been raided by Saskatoon police and four people are facing charges including trafficking marijuana.

The club, which opened up in August, is designed to help people gain access to medical marijuana more easily.

Saskatoon police had previously warned founder Mark Hauk that the club would be closed down if it was found to be breaking the law.

Health Canada had also warned the dispensary that if it did not cease and desist activity, it would refer the file to the RCMP.

Police said two Saskatoon men, ages 24 and 36, and two Saskatoon women, ages 23 and 39, were arrested on Thursday. Their identities were not released.


Marijuana charges laid against four people, Saskatchewan Compassion Club raided

The doors were locked at the Saskatchewan Compassion Club and four people were arrested after a police investigation into Saskatoon's first medical marijuana dispensary.

Two Saskatoon men - ages 24 and 36 - along with two Saskatoon women - ages 23 and 39 - were arrested as part of what police dubbed Project Fextern. Search warrants were executed Thursday around 10:30 a.m. at a home in the 400 block of 109th Street West and the dispensary in the 200 block of Second Avenue North.

According to Insp. Dave Haye, the investigation dates back to September.

"It has nothing to do with any politics," Haye said at a Thursday press conference.

Haye maintained that while the club was acting as a legitimate business, it was acting illegally.


Sask. medical marijuana business owner won't close shop after warning

SASKATOON – The owner of a Saskatoon community medical marijuana dispensary says he will not close his doors after receiving a recent letter from Health Canada warning him to cease operations or face a police investigation. Mark Hauk, founder of the Saskatoon Compassion Club, says he opened the business in reaction to federal regulations he calls unreasonable. The only reason he says he would close his doors would be if those regulations were changed.

In its letter to Hauk and 12 other similar dispensaries across the country, Health Canada wrote that his operation must stop within 30 days or else the agency would turn his case over to RCMP. Hauk could face up a $5-million fine and spend as many as two years in prison.


Federal election further clouds Saskatchewan’s marijuana industry

In Saskatchewan, green may be the colour but the future of marijuana — for medical and recreational use — is cloudy.

The outcome of next month’s federal election (which features some parties musing about decriminalization and legalization) and the decision of a federal court judge on how medical marijuana can be grown and distributed in the country will have a direct impact on the province.

“Depending on what the winner suggests about medical marijuana legislation, (it will have) a direct impact on the economy, and on this sector of the economy,” said Lucas Richert, a medical historian at the University of Saskatchewan.

Brent Zettl, for one, hopes that political parties do not go the legalization route.


Brent Zettl of Prairie Plant Systems takes run at Saskatoon pot dispensary

It's not that Brent Zettl thinks there's no place for a medical marijuana dispensary in Saskatoon.

It just shouldn't be dispensing marijuana.

Rather, he said it has a role to inform the public and people who use medical pot.

Zettl is president of Prairie Plant Systems Inc.. The company has worked in the medical marijuana field since 1990. Zettl asked to speak to the planning and development committee about the city's first medical marijuana dispensary.

"I'm here to straighten out some facts," he said.

"These storefront operations should be seen as drug traffickers." - Brent Zettl

​Zettl takes issue with claims made by the dispensary on several fronts.


Marijuana Access Canada (MAC) Bringing Telemedicine to Patients Canada-Wide

TORONTO, Sept. 04, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marijuana Access Canada (MAC) is comprised of a network of Board Certified physicians in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and will be expanding into British Columbia and Quebec in the next coming months. MAC connects patients with a Board Certified physician, who is able to write a legal prescription for medical marijuana that is fully compliant with the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) as outlined by Health Canada.


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