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Little Italy pot shop operators facing charges under Cannabis Control Act

Last Updated Mar 21, 2019 at 6:07 pm EDT

Police officers carry out marijuana from Loud Head Shop and Paraphernalia after a raid on March 21, 2019. CITYNEWS/Ken Townsend

The City of Toronto says charges have been laid against the operators and property owner of an illegal cannabis dispensary in the Little Italy area following a raid on Thursday.

Officers from Municipal Licensing and Standard entered Loud Head Shop and Paraphernalia on Bathurst Street around 11:30 a.m.

The city says Toronto police were also on scene to “ensure the safety of everyone involved in the inspection.”

Eleven pounds of dry cannabis and “large quantities” of cannabis edibles, oils, shatter and CBD products were seized during the raid.

The shop has been sealed with the help of a locksmith and the property owner and operators have been barred from entering the premises.

The operators of the dispensary were present during the inspection and the city says they were charged under the Cannabis Control Act. They are facing fours counts of unlawful sale and distribution of cannabis and were issued a summons to court.

The property owner was not present but will also be facing one count of knowingly permitting the illegal dispensary to operate on their premises.

Selwyn Pieters, the lawyer representing the dispensary, says shops like Loud provide a service to people that need access to safe, well priced cannabis products.

“Obviously, where you have dispensaries like Loud existing — they’re simply meeting a demand. These stores are providing a supply that is safe, that is healthy and that is reasonable for consumers,” he says.

Pieters also says the recent commitment by police to renew their “aggressive posture” against cannabis dispensaries will put consumers at risk.

“When [they] shut them down, [they’re] sending consumers who could have gotten safe product … back into the streets where it could be precarious and dangerous,” he says.

The store operators are due in court on April 12 and charges against the property owner will be heard on April 17.