UPDATE: Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce President Cal White has stepped down from his position temporarily while he deals with his possession for the purpose of trafficking charge (see below). In the meantime, Vice President Christina Shane will be taking over the President position.
by Matt Sitler
One of the region’s newest medical marijuana dispensaries is now closed after its operator was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Cal White, operator of the Legacy 420 dispensary on Wahta First Nation says police visited the business on Friday around noon.
UPDATE: Police say White faces two charges: ‘Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking Under 3 kg’ and ‘Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking Over 3kg’. A court date’s been scheduled in Bracebridge for September 27th.
“I’m a little surprised,” he says. “Being on the reserve the rules were a little unclear. Health Canada, in my opinion, doesn’t have jurisdiction on the reserve, so they couldn’t issue me a license and when I spoke with the band council here, the chief said they didn’t have any procedure in place, they wouldn’t either authorize it or not allow it – they didn’t feel they had any jurisdiction either, so given that situation I didn’t think there was anybody able to license me so the best I could do is open up and try and keep it to medical usage – we absolutely wouldn’t sell to children.”
White says regular practice at the dispensary when it came to prospective buyers was to speak to people who came in and look for evidence that would support medical usage.
“We would ask either to see a prescription or letter from a doctor or even a pill bottle that would indicate they had a condition that was known to be treatable by cannabis.” he says.
However, White says police told him he was selling to people who didn’t have Health Canada licenses (to receive medical marijuana).
White is also the President of the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce. Asked if he would step down from that position if convicted, he says he will “cross that bridge when he comes to it.”
“If that happens I’ll certainly do what I think is right and right in the eyes of the executive and the board as well,” he said.
For now Legacy 420 remains closed with no current plans to reopen.
White has yet to speak to a lawyer about the matter so he couldn’t say how he will plead.
He does not have the impression the dispensary was targeted for being on the reserve.
We’ll follow this case and provide updates when it reaches the courts.
*Note: Muskoka News Watch has spoken with Bracebridge OPP about this incident and have been told more information could be released in the coming days. MNW has received word that other individuals were also charged in the incident but this has yet to be confirmed.
(Photo of Cal White by Muskoka News Watch)
Related article: http://muskokanewsarchive.com/regionsnewpotdispensaries/