Hamilton police raided an east end pot dispensary Friday and for the first time barred the doors and installed an alarm, seizing the property.
Illegal pot, cannabis products like edibles and an ATM were all seized from Haze Dispensary on King st east in Hamilton.
“We have been known in the province as one of the city’s that has a great number of dispensaries. We are committed to solving the problem and we are committed to closing down illegal dispensaries.” Deputy Chief Dan Kinsella, Hamilton police.
The provincial enforcement team targets illegal shops and was in charge of executing the search warrant. Three Hamilton police officers are apart of the group.
There have been nearly a dozen raids in Hamilton since legalization but this search warrant is different. For the first time in the city, police are using new powers under the Ontario cannabis act. They now can seize the property making it difficult to reopen the next day, something pot shops have done before.
Signs were posted, the locks were changed and police installed their own surveillance system.
“We don’t have the exact dollar figure but it will be in the thousands of dollars.”
In total 4 people from both Hamilton and Burlington were charged. There is also potential that the owner of the building will face charges.
Kinsella said there are approximately 34 illegal dispensaries still operating in Hamilton and closing them down takes time. One raid takes officers about two 10-hour days to gather evidence and conduct surveillance before presenting a warrant to a justice of the peace for a final sign off.
In the past pot shop owners have received a slap on the wrist with a peace bond for their crimes. Now they face fines of up to $250,000 and jail time.