Article by Shanifa Nasser, CBC News
A set of ads displayed across the TTC for an app called WeedMaps is lighting up controversy over whether the transit agency should be helping marijuana dispensaries generate profits, as police attempt to crack down on illegal pot shops in the city.
The ads, which rolled out in mid-February, feature a map of Toronto with an array of marijuana dispensary locations superimposed onto it. They are set to be on display for 24 weeks, according to TTC spokesperson Stuart Green.
On its website, WeedMaps boasts “the most complete and accurate set of listings in all legal jurisdictions worldwide.” The app also features delivery services, prescribing doctors and deals available in the city.
There’s just one problem: pot dispensaries aren’t legal.
The TTC acknowledges it’s a tricky area but maintains the ad is for the app itself, which is not in and of itself illegal.
“We know it’s a bit of a grey area in terms of the legalities,” TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told CBC Toronto, saying the transit agency’s advertising is handled by marketing firm Pattison Outdoor.
Green said the firm forwarded the ad to the TTC for review and that the transit agency then consulted with the Advertising Standards Council of Canada before determining that it met the necessary standard.