Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Company with same address as illegal pot shop CAFE wins provincial go-ahead to open legal store

Company with same address as illegal pot shop CAFE wins provincial go-ahead to open legal store

A numbered company with the same Toronto address as the illegal cannabis dispensary CAFE, which has repeatedly been shut down by city officials and police, was a winner in Ontario’s latest cannabis store lottery. 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced 42 lottery winners — 4,800 people or companies had expressed interest in opening a legal pot shop — that will now have the chance to open a legal store on Wednesday. The full list is at the bottom of this story.

Among the winners was 11180673 Canada Inc., based at 104 Harbord St., where one of CAFE’s location is based. 

CAFE, which stands for or Cannabis and Fine Edibles, has repeatedly flouted cannabis regulations and police have raided the west-end location at least once. City officials, meanwhile, were forced to place giant concrete blocks in front of CAFE locations to stop the company from operating.

Company with same address as illegal pot shop CAFE wins provincial go-ahead to open legal store
The city has shut the CAFE location at 104 Harbord Street down by blocking it off with concrete slabs. The company has since opened a tent on the sidewalk in front of the store in protest. (Chris Glover/CBC)

In a previous statement to CBC News, the company defended its refusal to be shut down, saying its customers have a right to “reasonable, dignified access” to cannabis — access they say the government-regulated market, with its shortages and wait times and lack of edibles, has failed to consistently provide.

Government defends lottery process

The Ontario government defended the lottery process on Wednesday when asked about the selection.

Jenessa Crognali, press secretary for Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey, said parties selected through the lottery process can now apply for a licence to operate a cannabis store, but when they do, their applications will be subject to the agency’s “strict due diligence process” to make sure they comply with the Cannabis License Act and its regulations.

“The Act precludes licences from being issued to anyone with ties to organized crime, or who has been charged or convicted for contravening the Cannabis Control Act, 2017 or for the illegal sale of cannabis after October 17, 2018,” Crognali said in the email.

“In addition, licences will not be issued to anyone for whom there are reasonable grounds to believe will not act with integrity, honesty or in the public interest.”

Company with same address as illegal pot shop CAFE wins provincial go-ahead to open legal store
Mark Sraga, director of investigative services for the city’s municipal licensing and standards division, says he is surprised that the company linked to the address took part in the lottery. (CBC)

Mark Sraga, director of investigative services for the city’s municipal licensing and standards division, said he is taken aback that the company linked to the address took part in the lottery. Store operators, employees and property owners at the address have been charged under Ontario’s Cannabis Control Act. 

“I’m a bit surprised that the applicants would actually submit a lottery licence knowing, as I understand it, the regulations and requirements to be eligible for a licence,” Sraga said.

“The fact that their names got drawn, as I understand it, the lottery is a random picking of entries so nobody has control over it or could foresee what may come out of the selection process.”

Sraga said the selection of the company is “frustrating” and he thinks the AGCO could revisit its criteria to ensure such a company would not be able to apply. The application itself shows a certain “boldness,” he added.

The company has ignored the law and the government has been clear that if a company was illegally selling cannabis after Oct. 17, 2018, it would not be eligible to open a legal store, Sraga told CBC Toronto.

Company with same address as illegal pot shop CAFE wins provincial go-ahead to open legal store
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which regulates the retail cannabis sector, held the province’s second cannabis store lottery on Tuesday and announced the results on Wednesday. (Gosia Wozniacka/The Associated Press)

An investigation into the store is ongoing, he said. There are now fewer than 10 illegal pot stores operating in Toronto, he added.

Applicants had to secure retail space, capital to open

Unlike the first lottery, applicants in the latest draw had to show that they had secured retail space that could be used as a store if they were selected, and that they had enough capital to open it.

The winners now have until Aug. 28 to complete an application to open a store that will be vetted by the AGCO.

The 42 stores will be distributed regionally. In addition to the 13 in Toronto, there will be:

  • Six going to the Greater Toronto Area.
  • 11 in the west region.
  •  Seven going to the east region.
  •  In the north, one each in Kenora, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins.

Here’s the full list of those who won a cannabis retail licence in the second AGCO lottery:

Toronto region:

  • 9247220 Canada Ltd., 570 Bloor St. W.
  • Najla Guthrie, 964 Kingston Rd.
  • 11180673 Canada Inc., 104 Harbord St.
  • 1916384 Alberta Ltd., 619 King St. W.
  • Jason Krulicki, 2480-2490 Gerrard St. E., Unit 20A.
  • Brian F. Parker, 1303 Queen St. E.
  • 2197130 Alberta Ltd., 1180 Queen St. W.
  • Varant Kichian, 213 Queen St. E.
  • Maria Laura Rasile, 237 Queen St. W.
  • Helene Vassos, 730 Danforth Avenue, Suite 1.
  • 2464 Dufferin Inc., 2464 Dufferin St.
  • 2708654 Ontario Ltd., 501 Church St.
  • Junaid Khan, 815 Queen St. W.

GTA region:

  • Cory Floyd Cacciavillani, 1025 Plains Rd. E., Burlington.
  • Ekrem Uzunova, 20 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa.
  • Grant Willson, 15243 Yonge St., Unit 3, Aurora.
  • Corner Grass Corp., 5779 Main St., Unit 105, Stouffville.
  • Ravino Junaev, 20 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa.
  • 2674620 Ontario Limited, 1505 Guelph Line, Unit 3-4, Burlington.

West region:

  • Patricia, Gertrude, Donnelly, 589 Fairview Rd. S., Kitchener.
  • Noah Soberano, 1135 Richmond St., London.
  • 2249364 Ontario Inc., 1400 Upper James St. Suite 8, Hamilton.
  • Pietro Greco, 115 Division St., Welland.
  • Kyriakos G. Anastasiadis, 545 Ouellette Ave., Windsor.
  • 11535447 Canada Corp., 1338 S. Service Rd., Building C 5 Unit 2, Winona Crossing Shopping Centre, Stoney Creek.
  • Robert Chomiak, 1310 Fanshawe Park Rd. W., Unit F1, London.
  • Bara Bahlul, 8685 Lundy’s Lane, Unit 6, Niagara Falls.
  • Eleonora Plata, 1142 Wilson St. W., Unit 9, Ancaster.
  • Hratch Abrahamian, 395 Ontario St., Suite B2, St. Catharines.
  • John Reynolds, 120 Wyndham St. N., Guelph.

East region:

  • Ronen Ackerman, 2008 Commerce Park Dr., Innisfil.
  • Ethan Stark, 4335 Strandherd Dr., Unit 3, 4, 5, Nepean.
  • Huge Shops Ontario Inc., 566 Frank Hill Rd., Peterborough.
  • German Olga, 1988 Commerce Park Dr., Innisfil.
  • Ilim Uzunova, 1982 Commerce Park Dr., Innisfil.
  • Louis Laskovski, 312 Hurontario St., Collingwood.
  • Sofia Kuliev, 65 Collier St., Barrie.

North region:

  • Thomas Miszuk, 317 Northern Ave. S., Sault Ste. Marie.
  • CC alliance, 273 Pine St. S., Timmins.
  • Carl Ignatius, 420 Second St. S., Kenora.
  • Gerald Harrison, 1802 Victoria Ave. E., Thunder Bay.
  • Lorne J. Fine, 390 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 3, North Bay.

Source link

CBC News Canada

CBC News services keep Canadians at home and abroad informed about their communities, their country and the world. CBC/Radio-Canada is the country's largest news organization, employing more than 800 journalists in Canada and around the globe. Their stories appear on CBC Television, CBC Radio, CBCNews.ca and CBC News Network.
CBC News Canada

Leave a Reply