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Featured Image Credit: Jay Rosenthal
A man had to be freed from an illegal weed dispensary after it was closed down by the City of Toronto.
On Wednesday (17 July) Canadian authorities piled up huge blocks of concrete in front of the doors of a branch of CAFE - a chain of unlicensed cannabis retailers - to stop people from entering.
However, the crackdown seems to have blown up in their face after a man called 911 claiming he had been locked in the Fort York shop.
Firefighters then rushed to the scene and removed the blocks so he could get out. After he was removed from the building, the shop was closed up once again.
Toronto bylaw officers put these 4-thousand pound blocks in front of an illegal Marijuana dispensary and multiple other "cafe" locations. Though customers are still being chauffeured to yet another illegal store in a luxury SUV. @CityNews pic.twitter.com/ChwlM7xjCW
- Adrian Ghobrial (@CityAdrian) July 18, 2019
At the time it was claimed the man had fallen asleep inside and was locked in without realising. However, police aren't so convinced and believe he managed to sneak back into the shop after it had been sealed.
Speaking to VICE, Mark Sraga, the director of the investigative services of the City's Investigation Services Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) division, said they were investigating the incident.
In a statement, he said: "Prior to barring entry at any location, Bylaw Officers and the Toronto Police Service always conduct a thorough visual search to ensure the premise is empty and also announce their presence.
"Evidence shows that someone broke back into the premise, and that cannabis was once again being sold from the location. We have no reason to believe that this individual was locked in as has been claimed. This issue and all evidence will be heard before the Courts."
He added that 70 charges have been filed against CAFE.
And this isn't the first time authorities have taken action against the company. In the past week, three more shops have been sealed after being accused of operating illegally.
Canada legalised the production and sale of recreational marijuana last year. This means that if you're Canadian, you are allowed to buy up to 30 grams of weed at a time legally. That's also how much you can have on you at any time in public. At home, you can have as much as you like.
However, each of Canada's three territories and 10 provinces will be able to set their own rules around the federal guidelines - for example, in many places the age limit is 19 while in others it is 18.