Police shut down six Toronto pot dispensaries over the weekend
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Monday, October 22, 2018 2:11PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 22, 2018 3:08PM EDT
Toronto police have shut down six illegal marijuana dispensaries in the city just days after cannabis became legal.
The Toronto Drug Squad targeted three downtown locations on Oct. 20 – one in the Fort York area, one in Baldwin Village and another in the area of Church and Dundas streets.
Ten people were charged under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act and issued a summons to appear before a justice, much like a ticket for a serious speeding offence. However they were not criminally charged, as per the new legislation around cannabis.
On Oct. 21, police targeted three more dispensaries – one in the Yonge and Eglinton area, another in the Belgravia area and one more in Parkdale.
Three more people were issued similar charges.
While the federal government legalized cannabis possession as of Oct. 17, it is up to each province to decide how and where cannabis products can be sold. The Ontario government has said that for the time being, the only legal place to purchase cannabis in the province is the government-operated online Ontario Cannabis Store.
While private sales at brick and mortar stores are expected to be rolled out eventually, the province will remain the sole distributor of cannabis in the province.
“The Toronto Police Service will continue enforcement and would like to remind those operating illegal dispensaries that if they choose to stay open, they do so at their own risk,” police said in their news release.
Attorney General Caroline Mulroney has also said that anyone who operates an illegal dispensary after Oct. 17 will be barred from participating in legal cannabis sales in the future.