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Troy DeSouza interviewed by CBC re: Green Tree Medical Dispensary

Langford sues pot shop that reopened after police shut it down
Lawyer says 2 similar cases have gone in cities’ favour

Liam Britten · CBC News
February 16, 2017

A pot shop in Langford that reopened after it was shut down is now the target of a civil lawsuit.

The City of Langford has filed a civil injunction against Green Tree Medical Dispensary, which re-opened after it was shut down by police last month.

Police shut down Langford pot shop day after it opens

“A civil injunction is essentially enforcing the bylaws of the City of Langford in court and having a court make an order on the applicability of the bylaws,” lawyer Troy Desouza of Dominion GovLaw, the firm retained by the city, told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

“They’re operating illegally,” Desouza said. “The civil action is the only mechanism to get the activity to stop.”

He said the city has tried fines and police have tried raiding the shop, to no effect.

On Wednesday, police raided the shop yet again, shutting it down and arresting two people.

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Unlike municipalities like Vancouver and Victoria, Desouza said Langford has no interest in regulating sales of still-illegal marijuana.

“If you permit something that’s illegal, … the liability you’re exposing yourself to as a municipality is substantive,” he said.

“If someone overdoses on something laced inappropriately, or the extent of the THC or whatever substances is in those sources, because they’re certainly not coming from the federal manufacturers, you’re going to take that risk.”

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Desouza said there are cases of cities suing dispensaries — Delta and Abbotsford for example — which have ended favourably for cities both times.

All Points West reached out to Green Tree Medical Dispensary for comment on this story but did not hear back.

With files from CBC Radio One’s All Points West and Liz McArthur

To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Langford sues pot shop that reopened after being shut down

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