**Updated** Saint John police raid 6 marijuana dispensaries

Police in Saint John say 12 people have been arrested after officers raided six marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Sgt. Chuck Breen, media relations officer for the Saint John Police Force, said the Tuesday morning raids took place at:

  • Medicinal Grounds, Prince William Street;
  • Medicinal Grounds, Rothesay Avenue;
  • BLW, Simpson Drive;
  • King Canna, Germaine Street;
  • HBB Medical INC, Rothesay Road; and 
  • HBB Medical INC; Chesley Drive.

Breen said the search warrants were executed by members of the Saint John Police Force integrated street crime unit, along with members of the RCMP southern district street crime unit, and uniform patrol officers of the Saint John Police Force.

Charges against those arrested will include possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Police Chief John Bates said in a statement Tuesday that the search warrants should not come as a surprise to anybody.

"We have been very cleary and direct while stating our position that it was our belief these unlicensed dispensaries were operating outside the law," said Bates. "As such, we undertook an investigation which has culminated in today's raids."

Bates said the force is aware of the Liberal government's plan to legalize marijuana this spring, but the plant still remains illegal.

"We cannot hypothesize on what those changes will eventually be or when they will become the law of the land," he said.

"It is our contention that the dispensaries we investigated and subsequently searched today were operating unlawfully."

The Saint John Police Force integrated street crime unit consists of members from the Saint John Police Force, Kennebecasis Regional Police Service and the RCMP.

With files from CTV Atlantic