Article by Calvin Hughes, Civilized
There’s more good news for Ontario’s legal weed business, as provincial officials report a huge decrease in the number of illicit dispensaries.
Police in the city are now investigating only nine unlicensed cannabis stores, said Toronto Director of Investigation Services with Municipal Licensing and Standards Mike Sraga.
“This compares to 91 illegal cannabis storefronts when the Cannabis Control Act first came into effect on October 17, 2018,” Sraga told Toronto Sun.
The announcement comes just days after new Statistics Canada data revealed legal cannabis sales have doubled in Ontario since brick-and-mortar retailers began opening in April. It’s good news for a province which was previously one of the country’s biggest under-performers.
Despite the recent success police have had in closing unlicensed pot shops, these kinds of operations continue to proliferate. Permanently closing down illicit stores has proven challenging and there still aren’t enough legal retailers to wholly displace the black market, explained Sraga.
“The demand for cannabis continues to be high and markets are often operated and supplied by the criminal element who feel the risks are worth the financial benefits,” Sraga said.