A Nova Scotia medical marijuana grower wants the RCMP to pay for the pot they seized from him, to the tune of $52,325.
William Brady of Cape George, Antigonish County, is filing a provincial court order asking that the RCMP be forced to pay him back for the 103 marijuana plants they seized in a search of Brady’s residence in December, 2012. Brady, who has a license to grow pot was charged with illegal cultivation and possession for the purpose of trafficking but both charges were subsequently dropped by the Crown, according to Nova Scotia’s LocalXpress news service.
“He was operating within the rules of his licence granted by Health Canada,” says Brady’s lawyer, Adam Rodgers, in conversation with LocalXpress.
Reportedly, it’s the second time the police have seized Brady’s marijuana plants. In September, 2009, the RCMP took 39 plants without laying charges against Brady, whereupon Brady successfully petitioned the court to force the RCMP to reimburse him to the sum of $7,000.
The second time around, Brady’s 103 plants were only six weeks old, which he has factored into the bill. “I don’t want the plants back,” says Brady. “I want to get paid for them. If you get charged for illegal cultivation of marijuana, the RCMP tell the judge that each plant was worth $1,000 street value. So by that measure, with the plants having been half mature, I want $500 per plant.”
Under Canada’s current legislation, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), an individual is allowed to grow his or her own supply of marijuana for personal medical purposes if prescribed by a physician, a change from previous practice which required medical marijuana users to obtain their pot from a Health Canada-approved group of growers. An estimated 75,000 Canadians currently have valid prescriptions for medical marijuana, a number that has tripled over the past year.
Police have complained that some individuals with licences to grow are using the new rules to their own criminal advantage, by growing their own pot and then selling it on the street.
And with the federal government aiming to make good on its promise to legalize marijuana in Canada in the spring of 2017, the marijuana business in Canada, already on shifting ground with marijuana dispensaries now dotting the majority of urban centres, is about to go through another upheaval.
Yesterday, pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart announced it has formally applied to be a licensed distributor of medical marijuana. “As we have indicated in the past we believe that allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed through pharmacy would increase access, safety, quality and security for the thousands of Canadians who use the drug as part of their medication therapy,” said Shoppers in a statement.
The move is seen as an attempt to get ahead of the competition for nationwide marijuana distribution, with provincial liquor boards also eyeing the potential cash windfall. Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa’a schools of law and medicine thinks that the liquor boards are likely to have a leg up on the pharmacies as far as the federal government is concerned.
“Someone is going to get the profit margin on selling medical and recreational marijuana,” says Attaran in conversation with the CBC, “And I don’t think for a moment the provinces would give that up without a fight.”