Ottawa pot shops reopening after police raids

Despite a raid on Chinatown’s CannaBotanix Dispensary at 646 Somerset St. Friday that left two people arrested, the shop was back to normal operations Monday.


The employee inside the shop said she couldn’t talk about the raid and said to call the owner.

A chalkboard in the entrance lists the owner’s name as “Grant” and a number to call in case of any problems. The number goes straight to voicemail and has a 520 area code indicating the Victoria area.

The store appears to be a sister location for another shop in Centretown. The sign out front indicates the shop is called CannaBotanix Dispensary, but signs in the window read Sylk Medy Dispensary.

A number of other shops in Ottawa that have been raided have since reopened.

Police can’t automatically shut down a store after a raid – if they have evidence that operations are continuing, they have to begin the warrant process again.

“There’s a lot involved in getting a warrant, whether it’s having it signed or getting evidence towards having it signed. For the court purposes we need a lot of specific information to get it signed, so it can take a lot of time and we can’t discuss those techniques,” said police spokesperson Cst. Chuck Benoit, based on information from Staff Sgt. Rick Carey.

“As a police service we investigate any criminal activities, so if it restarts into illegal activity inside then we move forward with what we’ve been doing in the past year,” he said. 

On Friday police arrested two adults – a man and a woman – inside the shop. They are both facing multiple drug trafficking charges. Police also seized marijuana, THC edibles, THC gummies, THC pills, cell phones and a undisclosed amount of cash.

Police haven’t been identifying the people charged after the shops are raided. Benoit said that step isn’t to protect those charged but to “keep the integrity of the investigation.”

“They’re being charged. They’re doing an illegal activity. It is an ongoing investigation, it’s continuous. We’re not done investigating all these shops,” he said.

This article originally appeared in Metro News.