There's little question now that Canada is moving toward legal recreational cannabis, but it means that most of the dispensaries already in existence will be forced to shut down as the legal, government-run entities open for business. Even landlords who rent to illegal pot shops face significant fines or even prison time under the impending laws.

The Cannabis Culture store in Ottawa—the one that opened at the time that owners Marc and Jodie Emery were arrested and laid with multiple charges—just recently closed its doors for good. A bailiff was on site to change the locks and posted a notice of lease termination on the door.

Meanwhile, Toronto dispensary Eden was raided twice in one week, resulting in seven arrests and 23 charges that range from possession of a schedule II substance to possession to traffic a schedule II substance, failure to comply, and possession of proceeds of crime under $5000.

In British Columbia, reputationally the most pot-positive province, zoning laws are in place to help manage these dispensaries—including Cannabis Culture and Eden outlets—while allowing them to operate.

Canada’s House of Commons may have voted to approve the cannabis legalization legislation, Bill C-45, but there seems to be no mercy for businesses that jumped the gun with operating illegal dispensaries.

Cannabis legalization was, at one point, supposed to mean more freedom for independent businesses, but so far, it's corporate cannabis licensing, shareholders and acquisitions dominating the headlines. Canada is not only going to be the world's marijuana dealer but also the biggest test case on whether legalization means more freedom for all or just more money for corporate ventures and governments.

  Posted: Wednesday, March 7th, 11:24pm 8 months ago
Profile PictureWritten By: Parker Wallace

Parker is a cannabis enthusiast to the core who shares a keen interest in listening to what others have to say and understanding what’s important to them. Those who know Parker know that his passion for health and wellness runs deep, and his love of Canada even deeper!

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