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Address linked to illegal CAFE dispensary wins government lottery

Last Updated Aug 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm EDT

Police raiding a Cafe dispensary on Harbord Street on July 9, 2019. CITYNEWS/Shauna Hunt

An address associated with an illegal cannabis dispensary that continually defied the law by reopening after a series of raids by police and city bylaw officers was one of the winners in the province’s second cannabis store lottery.

The now-notorious CAFE dispensary operated out of 104 Harbord Street — the same address listed on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s (AGCO) website as one of 13 lottery winners in the city of Toronto, and one of 42 total across the province.

The company name associated with 104 Harbord on the government’s website is listed as 11180673 Canada Inc.

The winners now have until Aug. 28 to complete an application to open a store that will be vetted by the AGCO.

The commission says it received more than 4,800 expressions of interest in the lottery.

Unlike the first lottery, applicants in the latest draw had to show that they had secured retail space that could be used as a store if they were selected, and that they had enough capital to open it.

The majority of Toronto winners are located within the downtown core. One shop is being proposed for the Danforth and the former city of York is set to get its first cannabis store near Dufferin Street and Castlefield Avenue.

The rest of the stores will be distributed regionally, with six going to the Greater Toronto Area, 11 in the west region, seven going to the east region, and in the north, one each in Kenora, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins.

Three locations on the same street in Innisfil within close proximity were winners, causing some online to question the lottery system.