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Canada’s pot industry calling on Ottawa to stop rise of illegal stores

Originally posted in The Globe and Mail by Mike Hager

A trade group representing most of Canada’s licensed marijuana growers is calling on the federal government to curb the ongoing surge in illegal pot shops, which began in Vancouver and has now spread to Toronto.

Reacting to news that Canada’s largest city now has 40 dispensaries and could see more than 100 by this spring, the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association is asking Ottawa to stop the rise of illegal marijuana stores, which operate outside the strict regulations that its commercial-scale producers must respect.

“The federal government needs to step in and tell everybody what are the freaking rules,” association spokesman Cam Battley told The Globe and Mail on Thursday.

“Is it legal or is it not? And if it is, can we stop following the regulations that we’re under for quality control and proper labelling? Can we start using the same pesticides that the dispensaries’ grow-ops use?”

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