[URBAN NOTE] “Pot dispensaries demand to be licensed, city says it’s not possible”
CBC News notes the official response of the City of Toronto that any sort of licensing system municipally has to wait for the legalization of marijuana sales by the federal government. I do acknowledge that the Toronto pot shops are in a bad position, but this is also one of their own making. Why are they selling a product if they can’t do so legally and they choose to expose any number of people to the risk of being attacked by criminals?
A group representing pot dispensaries in Toronto is calling on the city to regulate their businesses, but city staff say that under current drug laws, “there is no authority for the city to implement a licensing regime” for the sale of pot products.
The Cannabis Friendly Business Association and the Toronto Dispensary Coalition said Thursday they are facing “unhelpful stigmatization” in the wake of a series of police raids targeted at the storefront operations in recent months.
The group contends that the raids have left their shops vulnerable to violent thefts because would-be thieves believe the stores’ owners don’t have the support of police.
“Violence begetting more violence. The better approach is for police to work collaboratively with dispensaries, and for the city to regulate dispensaries,” Michael McLellan, spokesperson for the Toronto Dispensary Coalition, said in a statement ahead of a Thursday news conference.
But the city’s head of licensing and standards dismissed that suggestion, noting that the sale and distribution of cannabis is prohibited under federal laws, with exceptions allowed under medical marijuana legislation.