The famous Project Claudia has seriously devastated the cannabis community from Toronto to Vancouver. During the first round of raids on May 26th, 2016, the Toronto Police issued 186 charges on dispensary owners and employees, and over 43 storefronts were viciously shut down. With the second round of raids on June 23rd, 2016 the Toronto Police once more issued criminal charges and shut down storefronts, including Cannabis Culture’s first Toronto location. The government still hasn’t addressed the issue of dispensaries, except of course for shutting them down and restricting access to thousands of medical patients who NEED their medication. Justin Trudeau says that he is trying to keep cannabis out of the hands of kids… Mr. Trudeau you are keeping it out of the hands of Canadians who need it and forcing them to go into the back alley ways and buy it on the black market. That is the issue you should be more concerned about. With this in consideration, big cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa have been opening up dispensaries left, right and centre! What have the Prairie Provinces been doing to fight the good fight? Where can patients go to get their medication in the local flat lands?
I recently went on a cross country road trip and got to visit dispensaries during my travels all across Canada. I left Toronto,ON and made my way to Grand Forks, BC to attend Cannafest 2016. While travelling, I noticed that dispensaries are rare in the Prairies. If you run out of flowers while travelling through Alberta, Manitoba or Saskatchewan, that could be an issue. Luckily, there is a hidden gem in Whitewood,SK that I discovered and worth the stop. You might be thinking to yourself, “What is so special in a small town of 1,100 Canadians?” There you will find the King of Compassion, Jerry Martin. Jerry is a pillar in both his and the cannabis community.
Martin Medical Services (MMS Corp) was founded in 2014, but operated as Martin & Strauss Medical Services since 2012. Jerry had been living in Whitewood 6 years at the time he decided to push forward with the idea of opening a dispensary. At the very beginning, citizens were uncertain of Jerry’s intentions. As time went by, their views on cannabis and dispensaries have changed for the better. When you walk into the King of Compassion’s castle, the entrance gradually leads you into the headshop section where you can find bongs, a library’s worth of cannabis and tattooing books and dvds for sale, and many different cannabis accessories. As you continue in, you will find yourself at the dispensary section, only to be happily greeted by Jerry and his warm smile. At MMS Corp, you can find a number of products including flowers, shatter, budder, live resin, rosin, hash, bubble hash and edibles of all kinds. Martin even has patients that come to his dispensary for the variety of oils used to help treat cancer, IBS or even epilepsy.
What is truly special about this dispensary is how Martin is giving back to his community. To give you a better understanding on what Martin Medical Services MMS corp has done and continues to do, I got to speak with Jerry and he gladly answered a few questions.
How do you decide where to donate your money in the community?
J: “It can be very difficult to decide who gets a donation and who does not. I try and keep donations within our community when possible. Emergency situations such as airfare and hotels for parents with injured children are common as well sponsoring local children to attend sporting events they could not otherwise afford. We sponsor the seniors Christmas dinner every year, buy the library books, help fund the town square and recently gave $11,000 to build a shelter at the local rodeo grounds.”
Why have you decided to give back to the community? What is your motivation?
J: “It was my intention to donate back to our community from day one. I was first inspired by the BC Compassion Club 15 years ago where I got my first authorization to possess cannabis, long before the current government oppression and control we are seeing today.
Dispensaries are not only there to provide cannabis but to educate and help their communities in other ways as well therefore shedding a positive light on cannabis and the cannabis user.”
Have you had any problems with your dispensary? If so, what is the biggest one you had to overcome yet?
J:”Yes, we were threatened by Health Canada last September that if I did not stop providing cannabis to ill people I would be incarcerated for 5 years and be given 5 million dollars in fines. I am still here one year later.”
MMS corp has been giving back to the community and continues to do so even if the law forbids them. Martin believes in what he is doing. By helping patients get access to medication that they deserve, MMS Corp is a perfect dispensary platform that dispensaries across Canada can (and should) take a few pointers from. It is very inspiring to see such good hearted people in the cannabis community who are all about patients over profits.
I cannot stress enough how dispensaries are indispensable, from the east coast to the west coast. Medical patients can no longer just rely on the license producers to supply them their medication when they can’t get variety. We can’t be left in the wind when the LP’s suddenly run out of a certain strain. It is unacceptable. Canada needs dispensaries, the demand for it is there, and Canadians continue to prove the true value and compassion these can bring to the community.
Thank you to Jerry Martin from Martin Medical Services MMS corp for the interview and make sure to visit him at 604 3rd Ave, Whitewood, SK or online at www.marijuanamailorders.com.