City can shut down Canna Clinic marijuana dispensaries, court says in interim ruling

An Ontario court has issued an interim injunction allowing the city to shut down Canna Clinic, a prominent marijuana dispensary that has reopened multiple times following police raids.

Unclear when pot shop's operations in Kensington Market and Parkdale will be forced to close

The City of Toronto could shut down Canna Clinics operations in Kensington Market, pictured, and Parkdale. (John Rieti/CBC)

An Ontario court has issued an interim injunction allowing the city to shut down Canna Clinic, a prominent marijuana dispensary that has reopened multiple times following police raids.

The city is currently reviewing the decision handed down by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, said municipal licensing and standards executive director Tracey Cook in an email statement to CBC Toronto on Tuesday afternoon.

"The court has issued an interlocutory injunction which prohibits Canna Clinic, its affiliated businesses and directors, etc. from using any properties in the City of Toronto to sell, store or distribute marijuana," Cook said.

An interlocutory injunction is a court decision issued at an interim stage of a case until a final judgement can be made.  

It's unclear when the city will move to close the dispensaries.

In court documents, the city alleges Canna Clinic, which at one point had seven storefronts across Toronto, is breaking the law and making millions in the process.

Canna Clinic is currently running two dispensaries — one in Parkdale, the other Kensington Market.

The city also claims the dispensaries refuse to release details about where its marijuana comes from, nor proof its clients need the drug for medical reasons. Canna Clinic's dispensaries have also "repeatedly and frequently" been the target of armed robbery, the city alleges, creating a risk to public safety. 

Canna Clinic argued in its court filing that the company provides reasonable access to medical marijuana, something the courts have previously found to be protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A hearing about whether or not to grant a permanent injunction is set for December of 2018, however the federal government is expected to legalize marijuana by that time.

The Ontario government plans to distribute marijuana through an LCBO-like model once that happens. Toronto city council has voted to endorse that plan. 


John Rieti is the senior producer of digital at CBC Toronto. Born and raised in Newfoundland, John has worked in CBC newsrooms across the country. In Toronto, he's covered everything from the Blue Jays to Toronto city hall. Outside of work, catch him cycling in search of the city's best coffee.