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Seed store goes to pot downtown

Windsor’s new downtown business sports marijuana leaves on its sign, an oversized poster of a marijuana plant inside and a mural-sized price list for its only product – marijuana seeds.

On Thursday, customers walked in, inquired about various strains and were invited to peruse a catalogue. If the store doesn’t have something a customer is looking for, Danielle Capin, a 25-year-old Hamilton, Ont., woman who’s running the store with her brother Joel, said she can get it within a week.

In short, Seeds for Less on Maiden Lane is selling the seeds to grow an illegal drug as openly and casually as Home Depot sells geraniums. How can they do that?

To Capin, the question is amusing. In the Greater Toronto Area, where her brother owns another location of the store, there are so many other places selling marijuana seeds that nobody bats an eyelash.

“Out there it’s saturated. Everybody’s already doing that,” she said. “Out here it’s some-thing new.”

Capin said the business is not only perfectly legal, it’s not even promoting illegal activity – i.e., growing marijuana for recreational use or sale on the street. She sells the seeds to people with medical marijuana licences or as novelty items, she said.

“In Canada, if you have a licence, you can grow marijuana,” she said. “We’re not trying to promote illegal things.”

But Windsor police Sgt. Matt D’Asti said the Capins had better take another look at the Controlled Substances Act.

People with licences to grow medical marijuana are supposed to get their seeds from Health Canada, he said.

It’s illegal for anyone else to sell seeds capable of sprouting, whether it’s a compassion shop – a store that sells marijuana and seeds for medicinal use – or a drug dealer.

D’Asti said police are consulting with Health Canada and researching the issue. If police decide to pursue the matter and test the seeds to determine whether they’re viable, Seeds for Less could be in trouble.

“Compassion shops have no right to be selling marijuana seeds or products to people with licences,” D’Asti said. “We will be definitely monitoring the store for any criminal activity and, if warranted, charges will be laid.”

As for what neighbouring business think of Seeds for Less, Downtown Windsor BIA president Larry Horwitz was diplomatic.

“They could make the downtown a little more interesting,” he said.

“They could attract a good crowd. But we don’t know enough about it to really say.”

Horwitz promotes attracting a more diverse mix of entertainment and retail downtown, but admits this wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.

“It’s certainly not the direction we’re going in.”

Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 The Windsor Star
Author: Claire Brownell

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