Ford Conservatives are preparing legislation this week that is intended to prevent dispensaries such as cannabis store chain CAFE from simply setting up shop again
The Ontario government is set to close the legal loophole that allowed Toronto’s illicit cannabis shops to re-open after being raided by police.
CityNews reports that the Ford Conservatives are preparing legislation this week that is intended to prevent dispensaries such as cannabis store chain CAFE from simply setting up shop again–sometimes selling cannabis in front of the closed-off building.
The loophole prevents city officials from closing down and barring access to illegal retail locations that also contain a residential space.
Per current legislation under the Ontario Cannabis Act, “No person shall, (a) remain on the premises after being required to vacate the premises under subsection (1); or (b) re-enter the premises on the same day the person is required to vacate, unless a police officer authorizes the person to re-enter.”
Authorities in this situation are essentially limited to confiscating any illicit cannabis on the premises.
City bylaw officers have been forced to remove the metal welding blocking access to CAFE’s Bloor West dispensary as operators claim the basement is the owner’s personal residence. A similar justification was used to re-open the Fort York location, after operators pointed out a set of bunk beds in the back room during a raid.
City officials initially promised “aggressive enforcement” to shut down unlicensed pot purveyors. CAFE operates multiple locations around Toronto, as well as a delivery service. Meanwhile, the Ontario Cannabis Store recently announced the cancellation of its tender for same-day delivery.
The government reportedly intends to make amendments to the rules that remove the residential caveat and render re-opening a shop post-raid illegal–with additional fines and penalties in place for doing so.
Per reports, the legislation is set to be tabled on Thursday and expected to pass this June.