On this week’s WeedWeek Podcast, Alex, Donny, and I discussed attempts last month by Toronto authorities to shut down plucky illicit dispensaries by blocking their doors and windows with stacks of 4,000-pound concrete blocks. This week, authorities brought the blocks back with a vengeance.
CBC Toronto

The day after the concrete blocks were installed, CAFE’s Harbord-Street location hired a crane to remove them, removing blocks from in front of the door, while decorating remaining blocks with photos of their patio.

  • Industry lawyer Harrison Jordan noted, “Individuals entering any CAFE location that has been closed could be subject to a charge under s. 18(3.1) of the Cannabis Control Act, a $100,000 fine and 1 year of prison. That’s where enforcement could go next.”
  • To date, 70 charges have been laid against CAFE, who said in a statement that their dispensaries are necessary because REC retail in Ontario has been inadequate.
    Globe and Mail

While the ownership structure of CAFE is obscure, the chain is owned by two partners, one of whom is a former wrestling champ who drives a Lamborghini. He described himself on Instagram as, “I ain’t as famous as Dan Bilzerian, but I’m trying.”
CBC Toronto, Twitter

  • CAFE’s other partner keeps a low profile, perhaps partly because of his criminal record for fraud, forgery, and counterfeiting.
  • Organigram VP Public Affairs Cameron Bishop railed against the scofflaws, saying, “The boldness [with] which the owners of CAFE continue to flout the law is astounding. Enforcement needs to be stepped up, products seized and tested and the owners charged. Unbelievable that this continues. […] We can’t pick and choose which laws we follow.”
  • Facing Twitter criticisms, Bishop deleted the original post and apologized.Twitter

Quick Hits

  1. Police in Dartmouth, NS raided the Atlantic Compassion Club for the second time in two weeks, charging five.
    Global News

  2. An Edmonton social group hopes to attract professionals who like to get stoned together and make social outings.
    The Star

  3. Threats of $700 fines didn’t keep people from smoking grass at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

  4. In the US, celebrities like Jay Z and Wiz Khalifia have joined the cannabis industry, following in the path of Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson. Canada’s tight advertising and sponsorship rules for cannabis make it all but impossible for Canadian LPs to profit from celebrity, however.