In an increasingly expansive cannabis market, licensed retailers are struggling to keep up with demand as black market stores like CAFE are forced to shut-down.

The Hunny Pot Cannabis Company, and NOVA Cannabis on Queen street near the Quantum Mob office have lines of customers out the door; even off of their normal peak hours. What’s the reason for this change?

In a recent series of busts, the Toronto Police have been making every effort to shutdown the popular unlicensed cannabis retailer Cannabis And Fine Edibles, known to the Toronto community as CAFE.

CAFE’s lower prices and wider selection of products has continued to draw in customers despite the availability of legal retailers. They have been known to have a much wider selection of products than those licensed retailers. Toronto Police have repeatedly attempted to shut the doors, but were foiled by legislation that considered the stores to be home to residences. This is  due to the presence of a bed in each location. Shutdowns of the stores were considered illegal evictions, so following a bust the store was often reopened within 24 hours.

Recent changes have disabled this workaround, allowing the Toronto Police to effectively shut down CAFE locations, often by physically barricading their storefronts with large concrete blocks. CAFE staff and customers have been arrested attempting to buy and sell cannabis outside of the storefront.

Is the legal cannabis market supported well enough by their existing systems to handle the true bulk of cannabis consumers? Especially as black market options dry up? It remains to be seen, but the cracks in current systems are already starting to show. Retail locations are overwhelmed by the volume of consumers and are unable to truly meet the demand for Canadian cannabis users.

We’re focused on identifying these solutions to best serve the growing market as unexpected changes define a stores failure or success.