Sunshine Coast RCMP raided S&M Medicinal Sweet Shoppe on Saturday, Nov. 28, seizing over $100,000 worth of product and merchandise in an effort to shut down the medicinal marijuana candy producers, who were operating out of a residential home in the Selma Park area.
“Due to the seizures we made relating to their products and logistics, we believe the business was essentially forced to shut down after the execution of the warrant,” Const. Harrison Mohr told Coast Reporter this week.
“However, at this time, no orders have been issued preventing the business from restarting.”
Because they weren’t explicitly told to cease and desist, Doug and Michelle Sikora, owners of S&M Medicinal Sweet Shoppe, said they plan to continue making and offering medicinal marijuana products despite the raid.
“We will not give up helping people,” Michelle said.
The couple make medicinal marijuana edibles, teas and tinctures and have been offering them to customers through their home-based business and through an online website.
The company has both a federal and a provincial business licence to operate; however, Sunshine Coast RCMP said the business did not do its due diligence in screening customers.
“It was alleged the dispensary did not require buyers to have a medicinal marijuana licence or any medical documentation showing that they required cannabis for a medical purpose,” a press release from Sunshine Coast RCMP read.
“Moreover they also offered internet ordering and delivery options, meaning anyone could go online and order marijuana-infused products to be delivered to their door.”
Following the raid, the Sikoras took down their online website.
Mohr said RCMP were moved to action after receiving complaints from “numerous neighbours relating to the increased traffic to and from the residence and about the prominent advertising displayed in their yard.”
RCMP also noted in a press release that they targeted the operation because it was “operating out of a house in a quiet residential neighbourhood.”
While no arrests have been made at this time, the Sikoras may face charges of trafficking in the future, after Crown counsel has a chance to look at evidence collected by police.
Mohr said Sunshine Coast RCMP raided S&M Medicinal Sweet Shoppe after conducting an investigation of the business for several weeks, in light of complaints from nearby neighbours.
Michelle suspects that being public about their business also had something to do with the raid, which resulted in most of the couple’s medical marijuana products, wrapping, business cards, stickers, advertising products, business computer, phone and vehicle being seized.
The Sikoras estimate the value of the items taken by police to be over $100,000.
Doug said the vehicle, a van with S&M Medicinal Sweet Shoppe advertising on it, was integral to him being able to get around with his support dog, which helps with Doug’s post traumatic stress disorder.
“I don’t know how we’re going to get around without it,” he said.
Mohr noted the RCMP will hold all of the items seized “until all court processes are complete.”
“The Court will determine which items, if any, are to be returned to the business owners.”
The Sikoras plan to get a lawyer and fight any charges that may be laid against them.
Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne said he was “disappointed” to hear about the raid this week, which happened ten days after the Sikoras appeared as a delegation before council, asking to be licensed and regulated as a dispensary in Sechelt so they could move their operation out of their home.
“Council wants Sechelt to be a peaceful, law abiding community and we are disappointed with any situation that arises where law enforcement authorities and community members are at odds,” Milne said.
He said the targeting of the Sikoras by RCMP, which happened in part because the business was operating out of a house in a quiet residential neighbourhood, would not change council’s mind on regulating and licensing dispensaries locally.
Milne previously stated council would not act on the issue until dispensaries become legal at a federal level.
“I think we’ve been taking appropriate leadership on the things within our jurisdiction, which are the zoning for production, which has nothing to do with S&M, and the zoning for business issues, which we’ve been very consistent on from day one. We will not provide business licences for activities that are not legal in the federal context,” Milne said.
He noted that WEEDS Glass and Gifts in Sechelt does not have a business licence at this time; however, staff is working on crafting a licence for the store that does not include the sale of medicinal marijuana in any form.