Over a dozen dispensary owners, staff and landlords made their first appearance in court in Toronto today, on charges of violating the city’s bylaws rules that restrict cannabis businesses.
The majority received disclosure of their cases and a requirement to return in August for trial, where they face a maximum fine of $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for corporations.
“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,” said Mercedes Carter from Green Rhino Medicinal Cannabis
Carter, unlike many others, isn’t facing trafficking charges because the business took steps a week before the raid to remove cannabis products from the shop.
Court appearances for those with criminal charges will begin next month.
“These (marijuana) guys pay. It’s very difficult to rent in that area. I thought it (storefront medical marijuana distribution) was legal,” the landlord said.
The charges “seem to have been served to anyone that was on the premises, whether or not they were an owner,” Lawyer Paul Voinea said.