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Toronto Mayor on the Cannabis Warpath

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Toronto’s Mayor John Tory has been on the warpath for the last few weeks to try and eliminate the city’s marijuana dispensaries because they are currently still illegal and spreading faster than cannabutter across a piece of toast.

Tory is not opposed to the idea of licensing pot shops and having regulations in place such as being a certain distance away from schools, but he called the growing number of current dispensaries “alarming.” The Mayor has asked city officials to work with Toronto Police to issue fines by the end of the month to an estimated 100 dispensaries across the city. Tory stopped short of discussing arrests, but violators could face a $ 50,000 zoning fine and the same potentially goes for landlords who allow this to happen on their property.

His way of regulating dispensaries will be reviewed by Toronto’s legal department, but the licensing division does not believe the city has legal authority to act until the Federal Law has been repealed.

“We are definitely not happy with what is happening.” said Marina from The Toronto Dispensary who is one of the partners at an establishment that could be targeted in a couple of weeks. “[However] we cannot blame the city for wanting to bring down the hammer on the plethora of the questionable establishments that have popped up in the last few months.”

Marina goes on to explain what a legitimate establishment of this kind should be. “The term ‘dispensary’ should be synonymous with term ‘resource centre.’ Dispensaries exist to educate and support their patients. All the pop up shops that have opened overnight are in no way educating or supporting their clients. Rumour is they have sold to some underage individuals and that is a legitimate reason for the city to be angry.”

Marina though is understandably unhappy about the black and white definition the city is portraying because of a few bad apples. “It seems very unfair to punish those that have worked so hard to support their community. There are multiple dispensaries in this city that have conducted their business with diligence.” Marina and her fellow dispensary colleagues are taking a wait and see approach to the upcoming deadline.

Cover Photo Courtesy of CTV News Toronto

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