Toronto Police Spokesperson Mark Pugash said, he couldn’t discuss the details of why the dispensaries were targeted, as it will come out in court, but said it is just the latest in police action against the shops.
“We executed warrants at the end of May, we executed warrants in June, on Monday we executed three warrants and then today another three,” Pugash said.
Pugash said The Green Room (562 Mount Pleasant Road), Cannabis Culture (711 Queen Street East) and The Healing Centre (1506 Dundas Street West) were all part of the latest raids.
On Facebook, photos were posted of the raid, showing Cannabis Culture operator Erin Goodwin being placed into the back of a police cruiser.
Pugash noted that two of those arrested today had been arrested and charged previously, at another Cannabis Culture location in May.
“Cannabis Culture location in Toronto raided. Erin Goodwin is in custody. I believe Pete Melanson may also be,” lawyer Kirk Tousaw wrote on Facebook. “Local counsel is being contacted to act for them if a bail hearing is required. If you disagree with these police actions you can voice your opinion respectfully by calling the TPD and/or Toronto Mayor.”
Goodwin’s husband Chris wrote that he was taking his children to meet Erin when he got the news about the police.
“My son Christian Goodwin and daughter Emmalie Goodwin were already out, on our way to have lunch with Erin Goodwin, when she messaged me RAID,” he wrote. “There was no danger of our kids being there, the only danger is what they were doing to their mother.”
Jodie Emery, Cannabis Culture brand owner and franchiser asked supporters to take photos and share information as authorities entered the shop.
Calling the raid “pure cruelty,” Emery accused police of wasting tax dollars and hurting harmless people.
Emery said she would be in Toronto tomorrow to protest the raid against Cannabis Culture and other raided shops in the city, with a press conference schedule for 10am.
Marc Emery posted to Twitter that the raided dispensary plans to reopen tomorrow.
— Marc Emery (@MarcScottEmery) August 10, 2016
When asked for a police response to dispensaries being raided only to open again soon afterward, Pugash said it’s not his place to comment on what the businesses intend to do, but that the fact remains that cannabis is still illegal in Canada.
Pugash pointed to a recent Globe and Mail article that found three of nine dispensary cannabis samples containing some kind of containment.
“As long as there are significant public safety risks, we will continue to uphold the law,” he said.
On Monday, Toronto police raided four city dispensaries, with charges laid against at least six men.
Pugash said Toronto police will release a statement on the raids tomorrow morning.