Four cannabis dispensaries were recently raided by police in Hamilton, Ontario, shutting down the cannabis shops and securing them with the use of new locks. According to media reports, all four locations of the Georgia Peach chain of dispensaries were raided by the city and provincial police. Law enforcement officials detained 25 people, and 50 criminal charges have been filed due to the raids.
Local police and officers from an Ontario provincial enforcement group responsible for enforcing regulations against unauthorized marijuana sellers simultaneously served search warrants at the four sites. The raids were conducted at the Georgia Peach shops on George, Dundurn, and Upper James Streets. According to the Deputy Chief Dan Kinsella of the Hamilton Police Department, before moving out of the raided shops, officers switched the locks and placed surveillance tools to stop anyone from reopening the dispensaries.
Kinsella said that the security measures involves notifying the premises and installing the necessary signage to allow people to understand that Hamilton police are currently in possession of the establishments. He added that the doors are locked and sealed.
Six illegal dispensaries in Hamilton have now been shut down by police, and this includes the Georgia Peach stores. At the beginning of the month, police conducted a search warrant at the Haze dispensary on King Street East. That was marked as the first time Hamilton police shut down and alerted a raided cannabis seller. At first, dispensaries that were raided would normally quickly reopen, usually a few days after shutdown.
According to Kinsella, the Dank Dispensary was shuttered by police after being attacked by thieves in January. After that, eight more illegal cannabis dispensaries have shut down without enforcement action from the police.
Kinsella said that it is encouraging them and he believes that the message is getting out there.
After the police raided Haze, Kinsella said that police would continuously shut down unlicensed dispensaries as quickly as constraints permit.
He further explained that it’s a resources issue. He also stated that it would take a while to gather the evidence, arrange the search warrants before appearing before the justice of the peace and the police are working through it, and they will put more efforts to chip away at the problem.
Kinsella also said that law enforcement officials are calling on judges to get stricter on illegal marijuana dispensaries.
According to Kinsella, until the courts pass sentences to the people involved that make it prohibitive for them to take part in the unauthorized cannabis industry, they are not going to witness any change.
The deputy chief declared that landowners currently renting to illegal dispensaries should be aware of the police action.
Kinsella said that if there are reluctant to shut down, then Hamilton police will forcefully close it for them.
Even though the police took several measures to shut down the raided dispensaries, Georgia Peach later posted on its Twitter page that it had successfully reopened, encouraging customers to come and buy.