Illegal Toronto Dispensary Finds Legal Loophole to Keep Doors Open

Article by Harrison Jordan, Leafly

CANADAPOLITICS Illegal Toronto Dispensary Finds Legal Loophole to Keep Doors Open HARRISON JORDAN

Illegal cannabis purveyors in Canada continue to thrive in Canada’s new legal market. Whether it’s through flashy promotions, claims of delivery within hours, or prices that undercut the legal market, illegal dispensaries are doing what they can to keep their client base.

That same level of brazenness is being used to keep the doors open at a popular chain of illegal Toronto dispensaries—even after law enforcement and municipal enforcement took actions intended to close the stores indefinitely.

A new law, in force as of October, allows authorities to close a premise if someone is charged with certain provincial cannabis offences in relation to its address. The “closure order” takes effect immediately until charges are resolved by the courts, which commonly takes months.

The province implemented the law to finally close down dispensaries that would open up again just hours after they were “raided.” That was happening earlier in 2018 (and continues to happen) because search warrants themselves only authorize search and incidental arrest, and don’t allow for indefinite closure.

The new-found power has allowed municipalities and police across Ontario to issue closure orders for several stores they have raided in recent months.

But now, Toronto’s popular CAFE (short for Cannabis and Fine Edibles) seems to have found a crafty loophole to exploit.

There’s No Place Like Home

Buried in the Cannabis Control Act is an exemption to the closure power. At s. 18(7), the Act states that the section authorizing closure orders “does not apply with respect to a premise used for residential purposes.”

CityNews reports that two CAFE outposts have been subject to closure orders after provincial charges were laid, and city of Toronto contractors welded the doors shut.

Contractors later returned to un-weld the doors when a lawyer for the chain claimed that an individual has been living in the basement of one of the dispensary’s locations. And the shop has reopened to customers since.

CityNews also reported that the second location of the same chain appears to be using a similar tactic following a recent raid.

Read the full article here.

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