Compassion House closes, owner promises to continue pot campaign
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019 9:28PM EDT
The doors of Compassion House are closed.
Owner Leo Lucier is no longer operating out of a storefront on Tecumseh Road West, a location that has been subject of police marijuana raids.
Lucier tells CTV News the landlord changed the locks on the doors three days before he said he was going to move out on April 1.
“I lost my last month’s rent on the place and about $30,000 in renovations to that place,” claims Lucier.
The Compassion House is the same store that has been raided twice by police, suspected of selling recreational marijuana without a licence, and there are no brick and mortar stores with a marijuana licence in Windsor.
Lucier claims he was not breaking the law and selling marijuana. He was giving it to people who donated food and other items to local charities.
But under the provincial cannabis act, landlords may be prosecuted.
“Basically what it says is if you are a landlord of a premise where this illegal activity is occurring, you can be held legally responsible as well,” says Windsor Police Sgt. Steve Betteridge.
If convicted, the fine is up to $250,000 and jail time.
CTV Windsor contacted the landlord of the building on Tecumseh Road West, but he was out of town.
Lucier says he will not let this incident derail his plans to celebrate the legalization of marijuana during the third annual 420 Festival at Charles Clark Square.
Windsor Police are encouraging landlords of commercial properties to educate themselves about the application process for obtaining licenses and to be proactive when renting property, to ensure all laws are being followed.
Officers say they will continue to actively investigate the illegal selling of cannabis and any landlord found to be complicit with an illegal store may be charged under the Provincial Cannabis Act.
Police say this link may assist any landlord or person requiring more information about the ACGO rules and regulations.