Weston Road pot shop reopens, claims to donate portion of sales to Black Lives Matter

A controversial Weston Road cannabis dispensary has reopened its doors after being raided about half a dozen times, including four times in December and one time last month.

California Cannabis was raided 4 times in December, 1 time last month

California Cannabis has a large message on its windows saying a portion of all sales will go to Black Lives Matter. The shop has been raided about half a dozen times. (Sue Goodspeed/CBC)

A controversial Weston Road cannabis dispensary has reopened its doors after being raided about half a dozen times, including four times in December and one time last month.

However, this time along with a flashing "Open" sign and customers heading in and out, California Cannabis has a large message on its windows saying a portion of all sales will go to Black Lives Matter.

California Cannabis's windows now say, 'A portion of all purchases are donated to BlackLivesMatter.com' (Sue Goodspeed/CBC)

Local resident Trevor Comer is furious the pot shop at the end of his street is open again and thinks the message is a threat aimed at police warning them to stay away.

"A lot of people think the police are afraid of Black Lives Matter or don't want to deal with them, and we all know the conflict between the two, so raising that is just kind of a stab at 'em, I guess," he said.

Local resident Trevor Comer believes the message on the California Cannabis windows is a threat aimed at police, warning them to stay away. (Chris Glover/CBC)

CBC Toronto reached out to Black Lives Matter, and they say they were unaware of the alleged donations.

Employee left in dark about sign

California Cannabis employee Grey Greenwell told CBC Toronto he doesn't know why the sign was put up and can only speculate why his bosses put the message up.

"I think it's just because of the neighbourhood, to be honest," he said. "It's just because in here it's a lot more black people come into the shop."

California Cannabis employee Grey Greenwell says he doesn’t know why the signs were put up. (Sue Goodspeed/CBC)

Greenwell doesn't believe the signs were mean to scare away police but were installed instead to dispel some of the negativity around pot use.

"I think it's more of like a front for everybody that thinks we're bad. You know, it's like, 'Oh, potheads go there,' or 'If you smoke weed, you're like evil,'" he said.

"It's kind of like to show we're not, you know, like horrible people. We're not criminals."

Police plan to continue to take action

However, the operator along with four other employees are already facing pot trafficking and possession charges.

Supt. Ron Taverner says police are frustrated, but will continue to take action. He believes the sign was put up to scare police off, but adds it isn't going to work.

"This is being used as a ploy to have the police back off from dealing with these people, but it's not going to matter," Taverner told CBC Toronto. "If they continue to open and operate illegally, we will continue to do what we've been doing."

Supt. Ron Taverner says police are frustrated with the number of times California Cannabis has reopened but they will continue to take action. (Grant Linton/CBC)

Even with the big signs on the windows, Greenwell says he isn't sure if the money is actually making its way to Black Lives Matter, but hopes his employers will deliver on the promise.

"I don't know. I just learned about this today," he said when asked about the donations.

"I would assume so, especially because we're gloating about it. Like, I hope so." 

With files from Chris Glover