ford and lisi

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been served with a subpoena to testify in the extortion trial of his friend Sandro Lisi. (Reuters/Canadian Press)

Rob Ford's friend Alexander 'Sandro' Lisi will go to trial on drug charges and have a preliminary inquiry on an extortion charge next year.

Lisi was charged with trafficking in marijuana, possession of proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence during an investigation into the Toronto mayor.

He was later charged with extortion for alleged attempts to get his hands on a video appearing to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Lisi and dry cleaner Jamshid Bahrami, who is also facing drug charges in the investigation, had their drug trial set for March 24 to 27 of 2015.

Bahrami's lawyer has also set aside dates in April of next year to argue an entrapment motion if his client is found guilty.

A preliminary inquiry, which is held to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial, was set today in Lisi's extortion case for March and April of next year.