Article by Molly Hayes, Hamilton Spectator
Local dispensary owners are holding a rally Wednesday in response to a crackdown by the city’s bylaw department.
Pacifico Life was one of 17 dispensaries to receive a “cease and desist” letter from the city last week. Owner Tamara Hirsch says the notice —which cites zoning infractions — went to her and her landlord.
The maximum fine, it notes, is $50,000 upon a conviction, and up to $25,000 per day thereafter. And while no timeline is referenced for this, the message is clear: close up shop.
The city had warned this was coming. A memo went out to city councillors last month, licensing director Ken Leendertse says, informing them bylaw officers would be investigating complaints from the downtown BIA.
But Hirsch is convinced this crackdown is a direct result of political pressure and the province’s desire to secure exclusive control over the market once marijuana is legalized.
“Right now dispensaries need to be banding together, which is what we’re doing here in Hamilton.”