Toronto police hit more marijuana dispensaries, bringing number of raids to 50
Three east end pot shops raided Monday. One was raided for the second time.
Toronto police have raided three more marijuana dispensaries, including one that was also raided in May and has since reopened, as part of their ongoing crackdown on storefront pot shops.
The search warrants were executed Monday and bring the total of raids on marijuana dispensaries to 50 since police launched the crackdown in May.
Hundreds of marijuana dispensaries continue to operate, but police say they simply don't have the manpower to investigate all of them.
"We have to prioritize where we put our resources," Toronto Police spokesperson Mark Pugash told CBC News.
He says police choose which dispensaries to investigate and raid "on the basis of complaints, concerns and public safety issues."
Supporters of the dispensaries say that with marijuana in the process of being legalized and regulated by the federal government, the raids are a waste of police resources.
Dispensary owners have attempted to push Toronto city council to regulate their businesses.
Council has been reluctant to do so before Ottawa announces its plan for legalization, which is expected next spring.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders has maintained the shops are operating illegally and his officers will continue to enforce the law.
Dispensary raided twice
One of the dispensaries raided Monday, S.W.E.D. at 1898 Danforth Ave., was also raided on May 26th and its alleged operator has now been charged twice, according to police.
A 21 year-old man has been charged with possession of a schedule II substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a schedule II substance and possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime.
Police say a 29 year-old man, also arrested at S.W.E.D., is facing the same charges.
Officers also seized 6,018 grams of marijuana and $7,000 in cash.
Another raid occurred at the Section 56 dispensary at 912 Danforth Avenue.
Two men, a 63 year-old and a 36 year-old, were each charged with three counts of possession of a schedule II substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime.
Officers also seized approximately 2,602 grams of dry marijuana, 312 grams of hash, 207 grams of oil, 457 grams edible marijuana products and $1,552.50 cash at that address, according to a Toronto Police Services media release.
At a third raid at another S.W.E.D. dispensary at 988 Pape Avenue, police say they arrested two men, 26 and 22 years of age respectively.
Each has been charged with two counts of possession of a schedule II substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime.
Police say they also seized approximately 947 grams of dry marijuana and $7,288 cash from that location.