MILLBROOK, N.S. — The owner of a cannabis shop in Millbrook, who has been publicly vocal about his operations, had his products seized in an RCMP raid late Tuesday afternoon.
But Robert Wilmot, who is adamant that he is operating legally under his Indigenous rights, said the Mounties confiscated his cannabis products and shop equipment without a warrant and he now is considering civil legal action in the matter.
“It was weird man. I told them they had no warrant and they had to leave and they forced themselves into my shop and took everything,” Wilmot said, Wednesday morning. “They didn’t charge me, they didn’t give me no warrant. They didn’t do nothing. It was odd … .”
However, in an emailed response to questions about the raid, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke told the Truro News that “the investigation is ongoing and charges are pending” under the Cannabis Control Act.
“Nova Scotia RCMP is continuing to work with the Chief and Council of Millbrook First Nation to address the issue of the unlicenced sale of cannabis in the community,” she said. “The RCMP has been employing a measured approach, which includes consultation with the stakeholders, to address the issue of the unlicenced sale of cannabis on Millbrook First Nation. Increasing complaints and concerns about the products being sold and the potential sale to youth prompted the police action at this particular storefront. Our goal is to have the unlicensed storefronts cease operations.”
Approximately 10 unauthorized cannabis shops are operating in Millbrook. But, Wilmot, who has been selling cannabis products out of a shed in front of his residence on Coach Road, and, who has publicly discussed his operations in the past, said he was the only one raided by police on Tuesday.
Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade said he did not want to comment on the matter. But he has previously stated that he has been encouraging band council to look at developing a communal base operation and a cannabis strategy to move forward as a community.
For Wilmot, however, that process is taking too long, and he said he believes his Indigenous rights were breached by RCMP officers illegally enforcing provincial law on a federal reserve.
In Nova Scotia, cannabis products can only be legally sold in specific NSLC locations or through Health Canada.
“And I don’t abide by those laws, I don’t have to,” Wilmot said. “It’s in my bylaw.”
Clarke said RCMP “attended” the unlicensed cannabis storefront on Coach Road in Millbrook to inspect the property under the Cannabis Control Act to determine whether any offences were occurring. She said two men were arrested – one for breach of a court undertaking and one for breach of recognizance – and that “a significant quantity of cannabis, including cannabis edibles and other products” were seized.
Wilmot, who described the seizures as a “theft,” said RCMP officers took products with an estimated retail value of $2,500, along with an air conditioner, a heater and other items from his shop.
He said the raid involved about 12 officers, some of whom were armed with “semi-automatic assault rifles.”
“That’s just crazy. There’s no reason to come with guns when I just have a couple of grams of weed,” he said.
“What I’m doing is lawful. There is no law on it.”