Toronto Cannabis Dispensaries in Court After Crackdown

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Toronto medical marijuana dispensary owners, landlords and others tied to the local MMJ industry appeared for the first time in court following the city’s crackdown on MMJ storefronts, which are technically illegal under federal law.

More than a dozen people appeared in a local court Wednesday, with several labeling the proceeding a waste of time given that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration has pledged to legalize adult-use cannabis, the Star reported.

Those brought into court face provincial charges of violating Toronto’s zoning laws, which permit only federally licensed MMJ distributors. They were notified of the charges against them and given a trial date trial in August.

Possible penalties include a maximum $25,000 fine for individuals and $50,000 for corporations.

Many also face more serious criminal drug trafficking charges.

Although MMJ is federally legal in Canada, dispensaries remain technically banned. And licensed producers that fully comply with the law must mail medical cannabis to customers.

“I think it’s kind of ridiculous and funny, actually,” Mercedes Carter of Green Rhino Medicinal Cannabis said after appearing in court, according to the Star.

“We don’t know where it’s going to go from here, if the dispensaries are going to be allowed to stay open or (pot sales) will be monopolized by the (federally) licensed producers.”