Windsor

Downtown Windsor store selling illegal recreational cannabis

A "cash only" illegal marijuana dispensary has been operating in the city core.

Windsor police remind people there’s only one place they can get legal recreational pot

CBC News has learned the storefront sells recreational marijuana. (Jason Viau/CBC)

CBC News has learned that an illegal marijuana dispensary has opened in downtown Windsor across from the LCBO on Church Street and University Avenue.

The storefront windows say "Envy" and on the door, it says "Enter Envy 19+," with a paper sign underneath that says "cash only."

A worker at Envy confirmed to CBC News the company is based out of Toronto and they are selling uncertified pot out of the location.

Earlier this year in January, a cannabis dispensary on Ottawa Street was raided by Windsor police. Officers also arrested a 37-year-old woman in connection to the raid.

A storefront with 'Envy' displayed on its windows is situated across the LCBO in downtown Windsor. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Police at the time said the investigation by the Drugs and Guns Unit (DIGS) began in late December last year.

CBC News reached out to Windsor police Friday for comment on the dispensary across from LCBO, a spokesperson said the force has already put out information on the subject.

However, the force tweeted later in the day, reminding people "the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis" is the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) website.

Storefront retail for recreational marijuana sale will not be legal in the province until April 1.

Municipalities across Ontario had until Jan. 22 this year to opt out of allowing those private retail storefronts. Windsor council voted to allow them in the city.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario held a lottery to find the people and organizations that can apply for one of the initial 25 retail licenses across the province.

NDP MPP for Windsor West Lisa Gretzky says it could be a while before Windsor gets a legal storefront. (Jason Viau/CBC)

NDP MPP for Windsor West Lisa Gretzky said it could be a long time before Windsor gets a legal storefront.

Not only that, "there's not a lot of people that have faith in the PC government" with the brick-and-mortar roll out plan, she said, after they saw the issues with the OCS launch..

Gretzky criticized both the Liberals and Conservatives, saying they should have been better prepared for legalization.

"So really what [the government has] done is they've opened up the door to more illegal retail spaces rather than doing what it was they were trying to do, which is to decrease the number of illegal retail spaces," she said.