2018-08-08

Undercover police bought marijuana, cannabis edibles days before dispensary raid

by Keith Corcoran

Police officers acting undercover allegedly bought gummy candies and a chocolate bar, both containing THC extract, along with dried marijuana two days before law enforcement raided a Chester medical marijuana dispensary, search warrant records show.

The officers allegedly told Cannabis for Life owner Corey Fitzgerald White they didn't have a permit when attending the Highway 3 business April 14, but White sold an officer five grams of dried marijuana instead of the requested three "citing that he owns the business so he can do whatever he wants," newly released search warrant records allege.

Authorities searched the property April 16 and, as shown by the Report to Justice, seized more than 130 documented items, including $6,387 in Canadian cash, customer information, scales, plastic baggies, more than 260 grams of cannabis resin and various forms of cannabis marijuana edibles.

White, 47, of Chester Basin, is charged with three counts each of trafficking and possession for the purposes of trafficking. A defence lawyer acting on his behalf July 31 entered not guilty pleas to all the allegations. A three-day trial is set for February and March of next year.

The Information to Obtain a Search Warrant (ITO) document suggests White was warned by police in the summer of 2017 when law enforcement became aware of the business.

White offered Lunenburg district RCMP Staff Sgt. Stephen MacQueen a tour in August 2017, allegedly telling the officer, as the ITO indicates, he sells to individuals with legal authorization or prescription and doesn't sell to kids. MacQueen, who noted a variety of edible products and dried marijuana for sale, was shown client and prescription records. The ITO indicates White told the officer he wanted to be a provincially-designated cannabis seller. MacQueen allegedly told him what he was doing was unlawful and "that he could expect enforcement should evidence be made available."

The records show White himself is legally permitted to possess and store specific amounts of dried marijuana.

The Municipality of Chester issued a business permit to Cannabis for Life, which was later revoked.

"At the time, police did not have any complaints from the public, evidence that the business had criminal association to organized crime, or that they sold to youth, therefore enforcement priorities were low," says the ITO authored by RCMP Cst. Ted Munro of the South Shore Integrated Street Crime Enforcement Unit. "With newly proposed legislation from the Province of Nova Scotia which clarifies how cannabis will be sold, it is clear that this business is operating outside of any lawful authority."

Police then proceeded with a "minor undercover operation" which had officers, who didn't posses legal authorization, posing as customers to purchase marijuana and other cannabis products in the store.

Thank you for printing this article from lighthousenow.ca. Subscribe today for access to all articles, including our archives!