Toronto City Council committee turns away marijuana advocates

Article by Jeff Gray, The Globe and Mail


Pot dispensary owners erupted in anger as Toronto City Council’s licensing committee voted to defer discussion of possible rules for storefront medical marijuana operations until October, denying them the ability to address city councillors.

“People are dying every day, calling my shop, crying for their family members,” yelled Brandy Zurborg, co-owner of the Queens of Cannabis medical marijuana dispensary, one of dozens caught in up in last month’s massive sweep by police and bylaw officials.

It was the second time this committee has moved procedurally to silence an assembly of pot dispensary owners and advocates. In May, before the raids, City Councillor Cesar Palacio, who chairs the committee, told pot proponents they would have a chance to speak to the issue in June.

But on Monday, he and fellow committee members supported a motion by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti to put the issue on hold until as late as October, after the August deadline courts have given the federal government to expand access to medical marijuana. Only Scarborough Councillor Jim Karygiannis, who has aligned himself with the pot-dispensary movement, voted against the deferral.

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