The City of Toronto issued a press release today stating they will be issuing Closing Orders to property owners of dispensaries selling edibles.
The Closing Order, says the city, means that following guilty pleas and convictions, the location is immediately closed "for any business use involving the sale of any form of edible marijuana foodstuffs intended for human consumption" for up to two years. Some Toronto dispensaries began advertising after the Project Claudia raids that they did not sell edibles, in the belief this was helping drive the police's selective enforcement against dispensaries.
The report also noted that employees and owners from six marijuana dispensaries have pleaded guilty to Planning Act and Licensing By-law charges arising from the May 26, 2016 enforcement efforts of the Toronto Police Service in partnership with the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division.
Following guilty pleas and convictions, the Ontario Court of Justice has imposed fines of between $1,000 for an employee and $4,000 for a dispensary owner.
City bylaw officers began visiting dispensaries last May. At the time, owners and landlords of at least some dispensaries were given a notice giving them 72 hours to comply with existing city bylaw (438-86) or face fines of up to no more than $25,000, with subsequent fines of no more than $10,000 per day. Subsequent convictions of bylaw non-compliance can face fines of up to $50,000. The letter notes marijuana distribution is not covered under applicable Toronto zoning bylaws.
There are 210 charges currently before the courts.
The six marijuana dispensaries fined are:
1. Employee at Weemedical Dispensary fined $550 in addition to a probation order. Weemedical Dispensary (1 of 3 locations in Toronto) is a “franchise” dispensary originally from British Columbia.
2. Employee at TWEEDER fined $750 in addition to prohibition and probation orders.
3. Owner of 416 Medicinal Health fined $1,500 in addition to a closure order and $2,500 in addition to a prohibition order.
4. Employee at The Scarborough Dispensary fined $1,000 in addition to a prohibition order.
5. Owner of UP! Café fined $2,500 in addition to a prohibition order.
6. Employee at York Dispensary fined $850.
“These amounts do not include the provincial victim fine surcharge. This means that the fines will have an additional 25% in victim fine surcharge added,” a city spokesperson said in an email.
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