Toronto Police Shut Down 11 Unlicensed Cannabis Dispensaries Less Than a Week Since Legalization

Article by Global News

Toronto police shut down 11 unlicensed pot dispensaries since legalization By Staff The Canadian Press

A total of 11 unlicensed marijuana dispensaries have been shut down in Toronto since recreational cannabis became legal last week, police said Monday.

Twenty-one people have been charged and released during the raids under the province’s new cannabis act. Officers shut down five unlicensed pot shops on Friday afternoon and another six shops over the weekend.

Toronto police have said they will continue to crack down on unlicensed distributors in the wake of pot legalization. Illegal stores that wanted to go legitimate were told they could only apply for a retail licence if they shut down operations by the legalization date of Oct. 17.

Acting Insp. Steve Watts, who’s in charge of Toronto’s drug squad, said he doubts the city will see an influx of unlicensed dispensaries between now and April 1, when the government intends to allow licensed brick-and-mortar dispensaries to open their doors.

“If you look historically back in 2015, when Trudeau announced that he was going to legalize (cannabis) that’s when the unlawful storefronts proliferated in Toronto. They essentially went from 10 or 20 to in excess of 100 in the spring of 2016,” he said.

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