Marijuana legalization in Canada is taking place this fall, on October the 17th. Individuals in Ontario who are 19 or older will have a legal right to smoke cannabis in private, and possess a maximum 30 grams of legal marijuana. “Legal marijuana” is being defined as marijuana that was purchased in person or online from the Ontario Cannabis Store. This is the only place where recreational marijuana can be purchased in Ontario. What will happen to Toronto dispensaries after the marijuana legalization?
If you fail to comply with the new marijuana laws and you buy marijuana from some other place, you can face serious criminal charges. Consult a criminal marijuana lawyer to fight your charges and to see what are your chances and what penalties you may expect.
What will happen to Toronto dispensaries in the post-legalization era?
According to CBC, by the end of this year there will be 40 store locations in Ontario, where you can buy cannabis legally. Eighty pot stores will be opened by 2019 and 150 by 2020. For the time being, the addresses of the first four locations have been revealed (image below). All these stores will be operated by the government and only licensed marijuana producers will have the right to sell weed to these stores.
All dispensaries that are not operated by the Ontario government through the Ontario Cannabis store, will be shut down and dispensary owners can expect serious criminal charges. It is only a matter of time when police will crack down on marijuana dispensaries in Toronto and other cities in Ontario. According to Reuters, the Ontario government will spend $40 million on law enforcement to shut down illegal dispensaries and increase resources on regulating and monitoring impaired driving.
With recreational marijuana becoming legal, it is expected that there will be a rise in impaired driving offences.
Many charges against marijuana dispensary owners, who were arrested in the last two years, have been thrown out. However, once the new marijuana law is put into force, owners of pot stores who continue to work illegally will be arrested and prosecuted.
If you are a dispensary owner, illegal distribution or sale of marijuana can cost you up to 14 years in prison.
If you need professional legal advice or have questions on fighting marijuana charges, call our Toronto criminal defence lawyer for a free consultation. We also have offices in Oakville and London and our team of lawyers will do the best to defend you.