It’s a clear sign Hamilton is losing its battle against illegal marijuana dispensaries. Every time police or the city try to shut one down, new numbers show, they just open back up again.
Lloyd Ferguson, Ancaster councillor and chair of the police services board, says police have shut down 42 dispensaries, and all but two reopened again.
City efforts aren’t much better. Bylaw staff have identified 80 dispensaries in total, and 47 are operating now, said Ken Leendertse, director of licensing.
But of the 33 authorities have managed to close, he said, most of them just moved to a different location and reopened again.
That shows the system isn’t working, Leendertse said. The city tries to use existing rules to crack down, including whether a building is zoned properly, or whether edibles are stored according to public health regulations.
But that’s all it can do until the province either makes dispensaries legal, or gives them better tools.