After a handful of Toronto police officers surrounded the front of his Cannabis Culture dispensary Church Street location in Toronto, Marc Emery thought he was going to be arrested.
The long-time cannabis activist began live streaming the events on Facebook while keeping the doors locked, but, unlike many similar situations in the past, police weren’t there to raid the store but to serve Emery with an eviction notice from the landlord of the building.
Photo of Marc Emery inside his Church Street shop. Landlord/tenant dispute. Police say they are there to keep peace pic.twitter.com/tkPGCIOx3B
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) September 9, 2016
“They have actually told us they would call the police to get us out, even through they took our money, three months rent, $24,000,” Emery said, on camera. “We had an agreement that they were well aware that this is a marijuana dispensary, and they were fine with that, but now they’re helping throw us out.”
The dispensary had opened only nine days earlier and Emery said the landlord has tried to remove the business almost immediately.
“He took our money … and then tried to kick us out the first day we moved in, after the city bylaw officers sent them an infraction, the fine for letting them operate a business that wasn’t zoned properly,” he said. “Then he tried to kick us out on the fifth day and we stalled that and now they’re just going to try and steal our money.”
Emery said the landlord’s plan to allow police to enter the building and remove Emery was foiled when it was discovered that the locks to the shop had been changed.
“Now they don’t know what to do because they probably don’t have a warrant,” Emery said. “And they can’t get a warrant for something like the landlord trying to evict us by force without paying us.”
Police eventually left the location within several hours and Const. Victor Kwong said the police were asked to come to the location “strictly to keep the peace as we do in many landlord and tenant disputes. In this case, it was for an eviction notice to be served.”