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Properly, that is one strategy to stop individuals from accessing unlicensed dispensaries…

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An ongoing battle between Toronto authorities and the proprietor of a series of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries got here to a head late final week, as the 2 warring sides performed actual world tetris with a pile of large concrete barricades. 

In response to the Toronto Star, the CAFE dispensary chain was the most recent set of illicit pot outlets to really feel the wrath of the Toronto bylaw enforcement police and their favourite retail deterrent — comically massive stacks of concrete blocks.

Toronto police put in their first storefront barricade final month and mentioned they might proceed to take action so long as illicit pot outlets undermined native legalization legal guidelines. Along with skirting taxes and security testing necessities, Canada’s unlicensed dispensaries don’t observe the nation’s present ban on edibles and different particular cannabis merchandise.

For homeowners of the CAFE — Hashish and Advantageous Edibles — dispensary chain, although, even concrete blocks couldn’t stand in the best way of pot gross sales, at the very least for one additional day. As quickly because the enterprise homeowners heard that that they had been focused by bylaw enforcement, they employed their very own building firm to take away the blocks, opening for enterprise as quickly because the sidewalk was clear.

“Yesterday, we witnessed a vigilante interpretation of flawed laws. This habits is reckless and embarrassing,” the unnamed homeowners mentioned in a press release on Friday, earlier than calling the continued enforcement efforts an “dependancy to prohibition.”

Toronto bylaw officers instantly sprung into motion to reinstall the concrete blocks in entrance of the Harbord St. location, and mentioned that, in whole, they’ve filed over 70 fees in opposition to the CAFE homeowners.

“This matter is being investigated by the Toronto police. Getting into a barred premise can be a violation underneath the Hashish Management Act,” Mark Sraga, the town’s director of bylaw enforcement, instructed the Star. “Town will proceed to take progressive enforcement motion in opposition to these areas by exercising all authorities underneath the Hashish Management Act.”

Even with the concrete blocks in place, CAFE homeowners didn’t shut down store, with a number of studies from Metropolis Information reporter Adrian Ghobrial exhibiting a luxury SUV transporting customers from the barricaded dispensary to a brand new location, and dispensary staff selling cannabis out of an apartment building to prospects lined up on the road.

The sport of cat and mouse turned so outlandish that Toronto Mayor John Tory felt compelled to touch upon the sidewalk shenanigans.

“The notion of simply flagrantly breaking the legislation over and over and over to me is — I simply can’t even fathom that,” Tory mentioned. “However they are going to all have their day in court docket.”

On a complete, Toronto’s efforts to fight unlicensed cannabis dispensaries have been comparatively profitable, with lower than 10 storefronts at present working, down from nearly 40 simply final 12 months.

Observe Zach Harris on Twitter



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