weed dispensaries toronto

Toronto police start to crack down on illegal weed dispensaries

The city is beginning to crack down on illegal marijuana dispensaries who are continuing to operate without a license. 

Prior to the introduction of the Cannabis Act on Wednesday, as many as 92 known dispensaries had been operating in a strange grey zone of legality. 

But in the weeks leading up to legalization day, it became known that illegal dispensaries would have to close up shop before Wednesday in order to pursue a license in the future. 

City inspectors started handing out letters to landlords and dispensary owners yesterday outlining potential penalties under the the new Cannabis Act.

The city's Licensing and Standards department, however, have said that of the 92 dispensaries, only 52 have closed down voluntarily.

That means 36 stores are willing to risk it all by selling weed without a retail-operator license and retail store authorization from the AGCO. 

Five of these dispensaries were raided today. According to police there was no real reason for targeting these specific ones.

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.

Lead photo by

Tanya Mok of Cafe 66


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