A local weed shop is continuing to do business — brisk business apparently — more than a week after it was among cannabis dispensaries closed by police.
Six stores, including one in the Eglinton-Avenue Road area, were raided by police on the Oct. 22–23 weekend for allegedly being illegal cannabis dispensaries. Thirteen people were charged and released under provisions of Part III of the Provincial Offenses Act summons, Toronto police say.
Staff at the store on the second floor of 282 Eglinton Ave. W. said on Oct. 31 it was business as usual at the shop since the raid.
They didn’t want to give their names or have their pictures taken for fear of being busted, they said as they catered to customers entering the shop and perusing their array of products.
The patched-up door on the street does not bear a business name or any other indication of the activities carried on upstairs, though it is familiar to patrons, judging by the steady stream of people entering during a 15-minute period at about 1 p.m. on a weekday.
Staff at the shop ask customers for photo identification to verify ages but otherwise do not restrict sales, they said.
They wouldn’t comment on whether any of their employees or owners had been arrested by police.
Toronto’s Organized Crime Enforcement – Toronto Drug Squad hit three locations in the city on Oct. 22, including shops on Fort York Boulevard, Church Street and Baldwin Street, arresting 10 people, according to a police press release.
The next day they visited three more locations: one on Queen Street West and two on Eglinton Avenue West, charging three people.
Working with Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department, police issued interim closure orders on all six locations, according to the press release.
Use of marijuana is legal in Canada now, but in Ontario it can be purchased legally only through a government-run online store. Brick and mortar stores are expected to be licensed to sell weed eventually but are considered illegal dispensaries if they operate before then.
Police said they would continue enforcement and reminded those operating illegal dispensaries that if they chose to stay open, they did so at their own risk.
Customers at the store at 282 Eglinton Ave. W. seemed unfazed by the recent police action and the possibility of further actions.
“It doesn’t bother me in the least,” said a middle-aged man, who did not want to be identified, as he exited the shop. “I came here before and I’ll come here again.”
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