Dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries were raided on Thursday in Toronto, as local authorities carried out their threat to crack down on what is technically an illegal industry under Canadian federal law.
The Star reported that local police were mum on the details. But a city spokesperson said law enforcement hit 45 storefronts.
The city has previously estimated there are 78 dispensaries in Toronto, but an industry attorney said last week there are far more than that.
Although MMJ is federally legal in Canada, dispensaries remain technically banned. And licensed producers that fully comply with the law must mail MMJ to customers.
Dispensaries knew the crackdown was on its way. Earlier this month, the Toronto mayor’s administration announced a move to fine all existing dispensaries for zoning violations in a bid to shutter the businesses.
However, employees at one dispensary said they had only received a written warning on Wednesday, less than a day before their shop was raided and employees were charged with illegal trafficking.
Many in Toronto don’t understand the crackdown, however, given that the administration of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to legalize adult-use cannabis, the Star reported.