The Canadian government has already warned potpreneurs that serving clients recreational marijuana is illegal and off the limits despite the imminent nationwide legalization.
However, in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, potpreneurs are operating 19 marijuana shops, with a couple of new ones opening in the past few weeks, reported the Ottawa Citizen daily on Wednesday.
Their active business operations are continuing even when Ontario’s attorney general issued a warning saying that illegal marijuana dispensaries will be closed across the province.
In Canada’s Culture, one of the newly opened stores, there are plans to open a lounge, allowing customers to smoke or vape weed.
One of its volunteers, Leane Wilson said it is unclear when the lounge will open.
Wilson told the Ottawa Citizen that she doesn’t know who owns the store but it has been busy since it is the only dispensary in the west end of Ottawa.
The police, however, visited Cannada’s Culture only once since its opening in January, Wilson added. But the police came only after a disruptive customer, who had been asked to leave, phoned 911 to complain he wasn’t being allowed to shop at the illegal store.
In another newly opened store called Cannabis Nature in Ottawa’s Chinatown, home delivery would cost $5.
When asked if the police had made an appearance in the store, its 25-year-old clerk on duty said: “Why would they?”
His answer, which showed total surprise, unveils a fact he is not aware of: Recreational marijuana is illegal in Canada.
“I thought marijuana was legal already. I’ve seen so many shops everywhere, and I’ve seen so many people smoking it outside.”
One popular joint, GreenTree dispensary, was shut down weeks ago. However, it appears it is preparing to open again but under another name. The shop is seen with a new logo “CannaLife” and renovations were clearly underway inside, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Hamilton A Different Story With Police
In late January, the Hamilton Police Service presented its $161 million 2018 budget request to the city council, with an increase of up to 2.45 percent, with the focus on enforcement challenges related to 46 illegal cannabis dispensaries.
Superintendent Ryan Diodati told Global News it is “frustrating” going through these enforcement challenges.
He said because “more often than not” the illegal dispensaries are reopening with stocks refilled “either the same day or the very next day” after police have gone in and cleaned them out “of every THC based product in there.”