Dozens of unlicensed medical cannabis dispensaries in Toronto are about to get a major wake-up call.
The city – estimated to have at least 78 storefront dispensaries – will begin issuing “hefty fines for zoning bylaw violations by the end of the month,” the Toronto Sun reported. Dispensaries are against the law in Toronto.
Mark Sraga, Toronto’s director of licensing and standards, told the paper the “end goal” is to shutter the dispensaries “because these types of activities and uses are not permitted.”
The fines could prove costly for Toronto dispensaries, with maximum penalties amounting to $50,000 for a corporation or $25,000 for individuals, the Sun reported.
Dispensaries remain technically illegal under federal law in Canada, and MMJ patients that follow the rules must order their medicine through the mail.
But a wave of dispensaries began popping up in many cities after last year’s election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has promised to legalized recreational marijuana. Legislation to do so is expected to be introduced next spring.
Dispensaries are so common in Vancouver that the city broke with the federal government and decided to license its own MMJ storefronts.