Police shut down 5 Marijuana Dispensaries in Toronto

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on October 20, 2018.

The Toronto police shut down as many as five illegal marijuana dispensaries that have been running without license Friday.

According to Police spokesman Gary Long, during a co-ordinated raid the drug squad charged and released eight people under the new Cannabis Act.

The five dispensaries which are located at 66 Fort York Boulevard, 333 Spadina Avenue, 912 Danforth Avenue, 1506 Dundas Street West and 2655 Lawrence Avenue East were shut, informed Long.

The move to shut down illegal dispensaries came two days after recreational cannabis use was made legal across the country.

Meanwhile, police Chief Mark Saunders vowed to shut down more such illegal storefront cannabis operations as it is only legal to buy marijuana in Ontario from the province's online website.

The new Cannabis Act allow police to impose interim closure orders on any establishment they suspect is being used for the sale of illegal marijuana.

They also include provisions that allow police to go after landlords who knowingly lease their property to illegal dispensaries.

If tried and sentenced, illegal dispensary owners could, at best, lose their right to ever apply for a license in the future. 

At worst, they could face up to 14 years in prison for illegal distribution or sale of cannabis under the Cannabis Act.

According to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, approximately 600 dispensary employees were charged in Toronto between May 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017.

More than 350 of them have already had all of their charges withdrawn, and that number could grow with many more cases still before the courts.

Ontario will be issuing licenses to operate dispensaries, but that system won't be in place until April 1, 2019.

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