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Exploding dispensary leads to drug trafficking charge

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The ongoing dispute between citizens and marijuana dispensaries in Toronto shows no sign of abating. While drug trafficking charges have been laid in some cases, these businesses often operate in a legal grey area. A catastrophic event at one Forest Hill dispensary has brought a lot of attention to the neighbourhood, and legal trouble for one man.

An explosion on Aug. 19, 2016, at a marijuana dispensary on Eglinton Ave. W. shattered a storefront window, spraying glass across the sidewalk and into the street. The blast caused severe burns to the face of a 29-year old Niagara man working inside. Toronto police and firefighters responded to the incident, including the police’s chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosion response team. The Ontario Fire Marshall’s office is continuing to investigate the cause of the explosion.

Toronto Police arrested the injured man on Aug. 24. He now faces six charges, including drug trafficking, mischief and arson with disregard for human life. This same dispensary, one of several in the area, had been raided by police in May 2016, but had since reopened. The business sells drug-related paraphernalia, but does not advertise that it sells any illegal substances.

Dispensary owners and employees, and even their patrons, tread a fine line between legal and illegal. Those who choose to work in this business should be aware of their rights. When accused of running afoul of the law, dispensary tradespeople should choose their mode of defence carefully. An attorney who works in criminal law in Toronto may be of great help for any individual or business accused of drug trafficking, or any drug-related offence.

Source: postcity.com, “Explosion at marijuana dispensary cause for concern amongst Midtown residents as dispensaries continue to operate“, Samantha Peksa, Oct. 7, 2016

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