HALIFAX – The owner of a medical marijuana dispensary that was recently robbed at gunpoint says the police investigation into the crime has taken a wrong turn.
Carl Morgan, owner of Scotia Green Dispensary, was reacting Wednesday to a decision by police to follow up their investigation by charging one of his employees with drug trafficking.
“We are not the bad guys here,” Morgan said in an interview. “We are trying to help people. We just want to have a fair chance at business.”
The charge against the 33-year-old employee came a day after police reported that the store had been held up Monday night by two masked men armed with a gun. The two suspects allegedly stole products and money from the store and customers.
Halifax Regional Police later confirmed they executed a search warrant during the initial investigation, then returned Tuesday evening to execute a Controlled Drugs and Substance Act search warrant.
“Instead of investigating the real crime … what they do is just the easiest,” Morgan said. “The patients are really the ones who are getting hurt.”
Police Supt. Jim Perrin said police must respond if the law is being broken. “To sell cannabis in Canada is illegal, and it will continue to be illegal,” he said. “So if we have case to go into a dispensary and we come across a crime being committed, we’ll investigate it … That’s one of the challenges and frustrations that police have seen over the last two years now, with these dispensary clinics, they are definitely steadfast to keep opening.”
It was the second time Scotia Green has been robbed, Morgan said. The first time was at another location in New Glasgow.
Cannabis dispensaries are sometimes targeted by thieves because employees are less likely to call the police, Morgan said.
Between the latest robbery and the police seizure of products, Scotia Green Dispensary has lost $30,000 in cash and cannabis, he said.
“We have nothing left,” Morgan said.
Despite the setback, the store reopened Wednesday. However, the variety of cannabis that customers use to treat medical conditions was limited.