Montreal mayor Denis Coderre is promising the city will crack down on several technically illegal cannabis dispensaries that opened today.

Cannabis Culture, owned by Jodie and Marc Emery, opened seven new storefront outlets in Montreal, as well as another off-island in Terrebonne, despite current federal laws preventing the sale of recreational cannabis. The Trudeau government is expected to table legislation to legalize consumption of the demonized plant in early 2017.

Mayor Denis Coderre sent a tweet out in French yesterday saying there would be “zero tolerance for those who do not respect the actual law.”

 

At a news conference at their location in the trendy Plateau neighbourhood today, Jodie Emery said the only reason legalization is being considered now is because of activists who broke the law in order to bring change.

“This is not like the dot-com boom,” she said. “This industry didn’t come out of nowhere. People have sacrificed, campaigned, been punished, demonized, persecuted all because of prohibition.”

She said the Montreal locations are being backed by an anonymous main investor and that new outlets are under discussion for Ottawa, Calgary and Halifax.

The eight stores across the city are supposed to be set up for business by later today or tomorrow.

Montreal police haven’t announced what, if anything, they plan to do about the shops.

Anyone who would like to share their thoughts about the mayor’s decision can call his office at 514-868-5531, email him via this link or the Twitter account above.

Twitter: @flematic