Toronto Dispensary Community Speaks Out Against Raids

Cannabis in Canada attended the May 23 meeting of CAMCD at Planet Paradise to discuss he raids carried out by the Toronto Police against dispensaries.

Toronto police arrested 90 people with 186 charges laid after a city-wide raid of over 40 medical cannabis dispensaries.

The raids, dubbed Project Claudia by police, resulted in 883 kilos of product seized and fines of up to $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for businesses.

Paralegal Lee Hathaway said he thinks the majority of these charges will end up dropped.

“I think there’s a strong enough claim agains the city of Toronto to file a human rights compliant and empower the patients to stop the abuse that’s been inflated on them by multiple layers of government,” Hathaway said. “I would like to see a motion to return the medication that was taken from the dispensaries.”

Cannabis advocate Marc Emery said it’s going to be hard for dispensaries to move forward, following the city’s raids.

“[What] people are going to have a hard time doing is opening a dispensary in town and for the ones that have closed to reopen,” Emery said.

Emery also said that, following the police action, it will be hard for dispensaries to find employees.

“If I had to go to work and think that any moment I could be arrested and I likely will be arrested, at $12 an hour I can find another job that I won’t be as stressed out as that,” he said.

City staff are set to report back to Toronto’s licensing committee Jun. 27 , with potential a regulation framework for dispensaries in the city.