Toronto police have raided four more dispensaries in the city, a month after “Project Claudia” where authorities searched 43 shops and arrested 90 people.

Toronto police chief Mark Saunders said that, until the stores stop selling cannabis, police raids will continue.

Michael McLellan from the Toronto Dispensaries Coalition said the raids are a disproportionate use of resources and force from the City of Toronto

“This [is] a group of small business owners who are facilitating access to medical treatment for individuals who are forced to rely on a system that has consistently failed its patient base,” McLellan said. “It’s important to our members that they are allowed to operate in the open, this gives patients a safe space to discuss their ailments with knowledgeable professionals and increases access to patients who wouldn’t have other options.”

But Saunders said dispensaries aren’t concerned with treating medical conditions.

“This investigation has nothing to do with personal use,” Saunders said. “The people are entering into this with the sole purpose of making money.”

McLellan said that couldn’t be further from the truth and that, rather than popping up to make quick month, the majority of the community has been involved in the medical industry for years.

“This community paved the way for legal medical marijuana, putting themselves and their families at great risk,” he said. “The dispensary community won the right for Canadian patients to access medical marijuana through court challenges.”
McLellan said the medical cannabis industry exists in a a grey area and the federal government needs to create regulation that explicitly allows for dispensaries to serve patients.
“You will always have bad apples in any system, that’s why we need regulations to help us  eliminate those who want to take advantage,” he said.
Saunders said police will release more information about the raids tomorrow but authorities are looking at all dispensaries.

“If you have dispensaries and they’re open, your chances of going to court and being charged and being convicted are very high,” he said. “So, I strongly recommend that you stop selling marijuana in dispensaries right now because they’re all unlawful.”