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Thu May 26, 2016, 02:50 PM

Toronto police and drug squad raid marijuana dispensaries|X-post Canada

From The Toronto Star:

Toronto police and the Drug Squad have been raiding a series of marijuana dispensaries in the city since noon on Thursday.

Through the investigation, called Project Claudia, members of the Toronto police drug squad and front line officers, in partnership with the City of Toronto, have issued a series of search and arrest warrants, according to Toronto police.

“The project targeted various locations that have been identified as trafficking in marijuana outside of the marijuana-for-medical-use regulations,” said Const. Caroline de Kloet.

Canna Clinic, which appears to have been spared the raids so far, sees customers lining up as early as 9:30 a.m. on weekends, Hodgins said.

Canna Clinic kept up a buzzing business amid the raids up and down the street Thursday afternoon.

Mayor John Tory did not respond to request for comments on the raids Thursday but the mayor talked about “these so-called dispensaries, which are bogus” on CP24 the previous night.

“You know what they are? They are the people who were chased out of Vancouver when they brought in a licensing system and they all said that’s no problem we’ll go down to Toronto,” Tory said.

“They’re conducting activities that are not within the law and I just think we can’t have them popping up on every street corner and near schools and messing up the livelihood trying to be earned by small business.”


Full article here: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/05/26/toronto-police-and-drug-squad-raid-marijuana-dispensaries.html
And the CBC's coverage here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-marijuana-shops-warrants-1.3601413

It's a breaking story, so I expect to hear more in the coming days about what's really going on. Strange timing given that legalization seems to be just around the corner, or at least in the pipeline.

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Reply Toronto police and drug squad raid marijuana dispensaries|X-post Canada (Original post)
Saviolo May 2016 OP
Buddyblazon May 2016 #1
Saviolo May 2016 #2

Response to Saviolo (Original post)

Thu May 26, 2016, 04:45 PM

1. As someone that owns a cannabis business and works...

 

in the industry...it sounds as though they're raiding the ones that are selling illegally out the back door.

That's dumb. They've busted dispensaries here in Denver for the same thing.

People wanted it legalized...but didn't expect it to be regulated. This is what legalized cannabis looks like. Taxed and regulated. Just like a bar would be shut down for selling booze after hours, dispensaries selling out the back door to the black market can expect to lose their businesses.

Either stay black market, free from the magnifying glass and take your chances...or go legal and realize you can no longer sell on the black market. One or the other. You can't have both.

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Response to Buddyblazon (Reply #1)

Thu May 26, 2016, 05:07 PM

2. It's a weird, anticipatory time in Canada

Weed isn't legal here, yet. Trudeau is aiming to get a federal decriminalization for spring 2017, but right now, it's only license holders that can obtain legally. But in anticipation of all of the laws changing (potentially) next year, dispensaries have started springing up like, well... like weeds!

I live in an old neighbourhood of Toronto called Kensington Market. Originally (in the 20's) a strongly Jewish enclave. Now it is a mix of old Jewish families, hipsters, Chinese and Vietnamese immigrant communities (it borders on one of Toronto's Chinatowns), and Mexican shop owners. In the past four months or so, about 10 small businesses have shuttered and have transformed into dispensaries. Some started well before that (like the CannaWide in the article), but about 8 have opened in the last 3 months. There's no way that cramming all of those identical businesses into that tiny an area is sustainable. I'm not surprised that many of them are trying to sell weed to leisure users and not just license-holders.

Of course, that's just the thing the police are looking for in the pre-legalization period.

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