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Illegal London cannabis dispensary finds new, out-of-way location

Illegal London cannabis dispensary finds new, out-of-way location


A woman waits to enter an illegal marijuana dispensary at 328 Hamilton Rd. in London on Thursday. Healing Health moved into the east-end building after vacating its previous two locations following a police crackdown on the black market businesses. DALE CARRUTHERS / THE LONDON FREE PRES


An illegal marijuana dispensary that police have raided multiple times has moved into an east London building that once housed a tattoo parlour linked to the Outlaws motorcycle club.

Healing Health closed its two storefront locations on Wonderland Road and Dundas Street last month and rebranded itself as a delivery service following police raids targeting the city’s remaining pot shops.

But now the dispensary is quietly operating out of a nondescript building without signage at 328 Hamilton Rd., The Free Press has learned.

The Hamilton Road store, where a steady stream of customers could be seen entering and leaving on Friday, is one of only two pot retailers still operating in London after repeated police crackdowns.

The owner of the two-storey building, which is designated for residential and commercial use, is a numbered Ontario company, according to city tax records.

An online listing for a room to rent in the building for $475 monthly was still active Friday.

“If you are a person who has a drug addiction or has a problem dealing drugs please do not even call. You are not welcome,” the ad says.

A man who answered the phone listed in the ad denied any knowledge of the listing or connection to the building.

The yellow-brick building, located at the intersection of Hamilton Road and Little Hill Street, drew the attention of the OPP’s biker enforcement unit in 2011 after La Tinta Latina tattoo parlour opened in the ground-floor unit.

The operator of that shop admitted to being a member of the Outlaws, a motorcycle gang with a long history in London and chapters across the globe. The motorcycle club’s logo — a white skull and pistons — was posted on the outside of the parlour.

Police first raided Healing Health’s locations at 490 Wonderland Rd. and 1472 Dundas St. on March 2, 2017. Most recently, undercover officers raided the Wonderland Road store on Nov. 29. The dispensary reopened the next day but later vacated the space amid pressure to leave from its landlord, who had been charged by police.

Healing Health’s Dundas location, which later moved to a new space just west of Richmond Street, also closed shortly after the latest raid.

Adults in Ontario can legally buy recreational marijuana only through the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store online service until bricks-and-mortar stores open beginning April 1. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the province’s pot regulator, is awarding the first 25 retail licences through a lottery system. The winning applicants will be announced Saturday.

dcarruthers@postmedia.com

twitter.com/DaleatLFPress



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