Estimated 350 Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Now in Canada

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The only way medical marijuana patients in Canada can get legal cannabis is by mail – not from a storefront dispensary. But that hasn’t stopped enterprising  business owners from opening approximately 350 storefronts in parts of the country.

That’s according to the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, which issued a recent estimate, the National Post reported.

The association said “dozens” of dispensaries have opened in Toronto in the last few months, leading to a likely record number of Canadian MMJ retailers in operation.

Although dispensaries are illegal in Canada under federal law, they operate in a small number of municipalities where local police look the other way as long as the businesses don’t break other laws – although that could soon change in Vancouver.

Federal officials, meanwhile, don’t have enforcement authority in a handful of Canadian cities, so they have been unable to take action against the dispensaries.

But the new boom in dispensaries has created a conundrum for cities such as Toronto, which have no regulations in place to oversee retailers.

““Once those start opening, it becomes an avalanche. You can’t keep up from an enforcement perspective,” Jamie Shaw, the dispensary association’s president, told the Post.