Pubdate: Mon, 30 May 2016
Source: Toronto 24hours (CN ON)
Page: 3
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Inc.
Author: Maryam Shah


Pot Dispensaries Still Selling Marijuana

Pot advocates remain defiant after last week's police raids of weed 
shops with one Toronto dispensary even vowing to sell marijuana for 
recreational purposes.

Cannabis Culture, 801 Queen St. W., flung open its doors on Friday - 
one day after police targeted 43 medical marijuana dispensaries in Toronto.

"We do not want to force people to be sick or to fake illness or to 
pay a doctor for permission to access cannabis," said Jodie Emery, a 
spokesman for the Cannabis Culture brand.

The store on Sunday was catering to the one or two customers who 
headed through the door every few minutes.

Cannabis Culture is "providing cannabis to anyone who can prove that 
they're over the age of 19, as we don't want to discriminate against 
the healthy or able," Emery said.

"We believe everyone does have the right to access cannabis," she 
said. "And because cannabis will be legal recreationally in the 
future, our model should demonstrate what legalization should look like."

Emery, who's married to "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery, added "a number" 
of those operating pot shops that were raided last week are 
considering opening up again.

"A number of them are planning to reopen and a number of them are 
choosing to stay closed," said Emery. "With so many different people 
involved, they're all going to choose their own approach."

In addition to seizing large quantities of dried weed and 
cannabis-infused edibles, police charged 90 people.

Emery said "a lot" of people are nervous about the idea of re-opening.

"Some landlords have changed locks," she added. "They've already 
decided just to not let the dispensaries continue because they've 
been threatened with asset forfeiture which is also extremely heavy-handed."

The Toronto Sun also visited the Canna Clinic, which was doing a 
brisk business in Kensington Market on Sunday. Employees of the shop, 
which was not targeted last week, would not provide comment.

Outside, a customer - who didn't want to give his name - called last 
week's police action "really messed up.

"I don't even know how this one's still open but I'm sure if it's up 
to them, they're going to close this one too," he said.

Only licensed producers - authorized by Health Canada - can now 
legally sell pot to those with verified prescriptions. The medical 
marijuana is mailed to those with prescriptions.

Toronto Police did not respond to the Sun's request for comment.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom