Governments Making Millions on Illegal Pot Shops: Owners

Article by Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

Cannabis Culture owner Mark Emery (right), the city's self-proclaimed Prince of Pot, and Weed the North owner Cory Stoneham, now jokingly referring to himself as the King of Cannabis, peruse the front-page story on marijuana dispensaries in Tuesday's Toronto Sun

Governments have reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, licensing costs and other fees from just two illegal Toronto pot shops, say the dispensaries’ owners.

And they estimate federal, provincial and municipal governments have already collected millions from the rogue businesses across Canada while the country waits for marijuana to be officially legalized.

“My one Cannabis Culture on Church St. paid $434,000 in HST payments for the three months, from October to December, and $22,000 in payroll deductions,” the self-proclaimed Prince of Pot Mark Emery said Tuesday, disputing a recent Toronto Police claim that dispensaries are not paying taxes.

Emery claims that when he made his first HST payment to Canada Revenue Agency, he was informed as many as 100 pot dispensaries across the country have been paying their taxes.

A perpetual line of customers with cash in hand, filed through his smoke-filled shop on Church St. Tuesday afternoon. A private security guard, hired in the wake of the recent spike in pot shop heists, kept watch nearby.

Read full article here.

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