Pubdate: Fri, 23 Jun 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Sue-Ann Levy
Page: 9


Latest raids to curb illicit sales

Toronto's seven Canna Clinics have gone up in smoke.

A team of Toronto Police, working alongside the city's Municipal
Licensing and Standards (MLS) officials, raided all seven illegal weed
shops Thursday morning.

In an investigation that stretched to Canada's west coast, a total of
12 warrants were issued for 15 locations - 12 of them in Toronto and
three in Vancouver.

According to Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash, that included five
residences in Toronto with ties to the Canna Clinic operations, along
with three similar residences in Vancouver. All seven clinics were
padlocked and police were busy inside Thursday morning gathering evidence.

MLS director of investigations Mark Sraga said his officers also laid
a series of charges for zoning infractions.

Medical marijuana clinics are only permitted in industrial areas of
the city, not in residential neighbourhoods.

At the Canna Clinic at Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave., a steady flow of
customers continued to try to get into the shop, quickly scurrying
away once they spotted the police presence.

Supt. Reuben Stroble of 53 Division, where two of the seven raided
Canna Clinics are located, recently told the Toronto Sun he feels that
organized crime is behind many of the 60 illegal clinics in Toronto,
especially since the product usually comes into the clinics in
"garbage bags."

He said the market is so poorly regulated that it has become a
"free-for-all" in Toronto and elsewhere.

Sraga said real medical marijuana facilities are strictly licensed by
Health Canada and the city's 60 illegal dispensaries have nothing to
do with medical marijuana.

Pugash said a total of six charges have been laid so far, with more to

Sraga said he's not sure whether this action will effectively put them
out of a business for a period of time.

But he did say Thursday's raid was almost as big as the March arrest
of the Prince of Pot, Marc Emery, and his wife, Jodie, and raids on
their pot shops in three Canadian cities.
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