Brett Steves, manager, said store had become unsustainable. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge pot shop that gives free cannabis to sick people, closes doors after police raid

Community Safety Unit moved in on Dec. 18

The Hammond Compassion Society store that provided pot in Hammond for four years, is closing its doors for good, this Sunday, manager Brett Steeves said Thursday.

​”Our activism is over, we will no longer be participating in the industry of cannabis. We are stepping aside to allow a new group to come into Hammond and open a legal retail cannabis store,” Steeves said in an e-mail.

Read more: Provincial police raid Hammond pot store

Police officers with the provincial Community Safety Unit raided the store, also known as Deacon Blues, on Dec. 18, posting a notice on the windows and closing the doors to the public.

The Community Safety Unit, a division of the Public Safety Ministry, works with police to shut down unlicensed sellers that still hold the vast majority of the B.C. cannabis market.

Steeves said that since the store opened four years ago, its sales of recreational cannabis allowed the store to provide medicinal cannabis, for free, to those suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease and, “so many other different illnesses we can’t even quantify it all.”

He added that during the past six months, as more stores were closed by the Community Safety Unit, the store, as one of the last unlicensed medicinal stores, was inundated with customers from throughout the Fraser Valley, Vancouver and around B.C.

Read more: One store in Maple Ridge remains for pot puffers

“This wasn’t about access to cannabis, but access to free medical cannabis,” Steeves said.

When the store’s clinical clients out-numbered its recreational clients three to one, the store had become financially unsustainable, Steeves said.

“We had become financially unsustainable, which is direct result of a far-reaching issue of affordability, with the collateral damage being perpetrated here, on our senior citizens and the sick, those who are most vulnerable in our society, people who are actually suffering as a result of the actions of the representatives of the Crown,” Steeves said.

On behalf of the society’s board, he thanked the Ridge Meadows RCMP, Maple Ridge council, the community of Maple Ridge, and the historic neighbourhood of Port Hammond.

A spokesman for the Liquor Distribution Branch said approval has been given to open a government-owned cannabis shop at 207th Street and Lougheed Highway but there’s no opening date yet.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thieves caught in the act at Aldergrove go-cart track

Three weeks ago, the Langley Quarter Midget Association decided to upgrade security after a theft

What can people still do outside during COVID-19?

A list of ideas that can still be done in order to get a little exercise and fresh air

A call for donations to fight COVID-19 in Langley and elsewhere

B.C. hasn’t run out of protective gear, but supplies are getting low

Memorial bench for Langley teen who died in park

Carson Crimeni is remembered with an anti-bullying message

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read