Legalization has empowered authorities across the country to shutter all but several dozen of the illegal cannabis storefronts that once numbered in the hundreds in the months preceding Canada’s historic end to prohibition last fall.
And yet, despite more than 200 illicit shops in Toronto and Vancouver either closing over the past year or transitioning to pursue licences from the provinces, online sales from illegal cannabis retailers are proving much more difficult to stamp out.
Abbotsford police Chief Mike Serr, a former Vancouver gang officer who chairs the drug advisory committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said municipalities and police agencies have been successful working together to shut down unlicensed marijuana shops since the drug was legalized Oct. 17, but there has been “a real boom” in the number of online portals delivering illegal cannabis right to people’s doorsteps.
Globe and Mail
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