ERRATUM: Kingston Compassion Club Society has never been member if the IWW. We apologize for the misunderstanding. Here are more information about the situation of the IWW in Kingston.
Kingston Compassion Club Society is re-opening after robbery and police closure.
The Kingston Ontario Compassion Club Society (I.W.W Local 610) is re-opening after suffering a robbery and a police closure, as the Kingston Police continue to investigate some of the worker’s involved in the only unionized medical cannabis dispensary in Canada.
The not-for profit Compassion Club (also known as a medical cannabis dispensary), located in the Medical Arts Building at 800 Princess Street was closed after police responded to a robbery call made by the Club on June 19th. Employees called police to the facility after noticing that their online video surveillance feed had been interrupted, leading them to believe a break-in may have been in progress. It is believed that two former staff members of the K.C.C.S worked with a former member to execute said robbery after making false allegations to the police in the hopes of having the Club shut down by law enforcement.
Police are considering charges against three people, after removing approximately 825 grams of marijuana from the Club on June 19th despite not having a warrant. On June 21st police did return to the Club with a search warrant that only pertained to the Club’s computers and patient records.
While police have remained largely silent regarding the case, some former members have taken to the local media to make baseless allegations surrounding the Club’s closure. These allegations have been entirely without merit, despite the local media treating them as factual.
As Matt Thornton, Shop Steward for the Kingston Compassion Club and a federally authorized medical cannabis patient indicates, the temporary closure of the Club has made Kingston’s medical cannabis patients vulnerable – “All of the K.C.C.S members are now forced back to criminal elements to receive their legal medication in violation of their Section 7 Constitutional Rights. This is a blow to harm reduction and safe access in Kingston. All members of K.C.C.S were registered with Heath Canada or sent to us by their doctor for cannabis therapy. We offered a variety of high quality strains, in various formats such as edibles, tinctures and topical creams/, at below black-market prices.”
The club plans to re-open it’s doors August 22nd, to continue signing new members, and assisting people in registering with Health Canada’s M.M.A.R Program.
“It must be stressed that we will NOT have cannabis products on site or be dispensing any cannabis products of any kind, period. The people who robbed us and the police still have our product stock and operating funds”, stated Thornton. “We are grateful for the incredible support we have, not only from the greater Kingston community, but also the local medical community. Our well-known standards and professionalism have lead to the K.C.C.S, along with other dispensaries across Canada, being invited to meet with Health Canada in the coming months to discuss becoming one of the first groups to receive a commercial grower/distribution license. “
The Kingston Coalition Against Poverty, a anti-poverty organization based in Kingston, is but one of the community groups which decries the closure. K.C.A.P spokesperson Aimee Van Vlack stated, “The K.C.C.S. not only aided the community by offering below black market prices for cannabis, easing the burden on many Kingstonians who are trying to make ends meet while struggling with debilitating illness, the Club also committed to financially support other non-profits in the community. In August, the K.C.C.S was scheduled to begin donating $700 monthly to a local soup kitchen known as Martha’s Table. This was going to be on top of other monthly donations made to several non-profit community agencies.”
For more information regarding the re-opening of the Kingston Compassion Club Society please go to http://www.kingstoncompassion.org/ or to email words of support please contact [email protected]