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Farm workers in cannabis grow-op raids often oblivious to criminal nature, OPP say

OPP pic


Southwestern Ontario has highest concentration of illegally grown pot, police say

Illegal marijuana grow operations most often crop up on the Ontario Provincial Police's radar in Essex County, and during raids, farm workers are "almost every time" completely unaware of the criminals behind the cannabis, police told CBC News.

Organized crime entities use illegal cannabis grow operations as "easy, quick" cash that's "relatively risk free," according to Det.-Insp. Peter Donnelly, hub commander of the central region's organized crime enforcement branch. That money is then used to traffic harder, illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines and fentanyl, he added.

"Just the amount of money it gives them access to, that makes it scary," said Donnelly.


More than $700,000 in contraband seized from maximum-security corrections centre in Edmonton


Hashish, cannabis shatter, methamphetamine and pills that included fentanyl confiscated

Contraband valued at almost a quarter of a million dollars, including various drugs and weapons, was confiscated earlier this week at the Edmonton Institution, a maximum-security federal institution.

Citing the vigilance of staff members at the maximum-security facility, hashish, methamphetamine, shatter, pills (including fentanyl), stabbing weapons, cellphones, cellphone chargers and SIM cards were among the items seized on May 10, according to the Prairie Region of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).


OPP raid reveals illegal grow-op housing 7,600 cannabis plants

illegal grow op

Ontario cops also confiscate a small amount of processed weed and cash.

Three people are facing charges after officers with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and its partners executed a warrant last week and discovered a massive cannabis grow containing more than 7,600 plants in Renfrew, Ont.

Per CTV News, the grow was located near Highway 132 in Admaston/Bromley Township.

Photos released by the OPP show large, indoor cultivations and growing equipment.

Although the OPP initially tweeted on May 5 that more than 5,500 cannabis plants were seized, that figure has reportedly been adjusted to 7,600-plus.


OPP investigating Ontario Cannabis Store data leak



“The data was misappropriated, disclosed and distributed unlawfully.”

An Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) data breach has led to “confidential store sales data” being leaked and circulated within the industry, according to an OCS letter obtained by The Canadian Press. 

The letter, which was sent on May 10, states that the data was not disclosed by the provincial cannabis wholesaler. 

“The data was misappropriated, disclosed and distributed unlawfully,” the letter states.

“As a result, we trust you will refrain from sharing or using this stolen data in any way.”

The Ontario Provincial Police are now investigating the matter. 


Cannabis law loopholes create challenges for Prince Rupert


Bachrach says “inordinate” amounts of cannabis being prescribed allow commercial-sized production

Loopholes in the federal cannabis growing legislation are a concern and pose challenges for municipalities, Skeena Bulkey MP Taylor Bachrach said on May 6.

“I am familiar with the larger concerns around grow-ops in Prince Rupert because that has been a long-standing concern…” Bachrach told The Northern View. 

“I’ve had lots of people from Prince Rupert approach me concerned about the grow-op issue,” he said.

“The problem municipalities are having is that it’s very difficult to regulate the location of those personal growth operations connected to the medical cannabis system,” he said.


FOIA suit uncovers true CBP policy regarding immigration admissibility of individuals connected to legal foreign cannabis industry

Canadian flag


It took years, but DWT's cannabis group prevailed in obtaining U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) policy on the admissibility of non-citizens with ties to legal foreign cannabis businesses.

Following the 2018 legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, DWT began tracking media reports that CBP was imposing lifetime bans on foreign nationals from entering the United States based on their involvement in Canada's legal cannabis industry. Doubling down on the agency's claimed right to do so, Todd Owen, a senior CBP official, told the press in September 2018: "If you work for the industry, that is grounds for inadmissibility."


Canadian border agents seizing more cannabis than ever before

Canadian border


The CBSA is reminding Canadians that bringing cannabis into or out of Canada is illegal. The memo comes as international mail centres across the country are experiencing processing delays due to cannabis imports without valid permits.

Seizures of cannabis at Canada’s border crossings have soared through the pandemic.

That's prompted the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to issue a notice to Canadians that although the drug has been legalized and regulated in Canada, and some parts of the United States, it remains illegal to carry or ship it across the border.


CBSA reminds Canadians of cannabis border laws

Canada border services

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding Canadians that although cannabis has been legalized and regulated in Canada, it remains illegal to bring cannabis (and cannabis products) into or out of Canada – whether it is a gift or for personal use. Also, when shopping online, make sure you are buying from a licensed Canadian cannabis retailers to avoid potential delays, an enforcement action and even criminal prosecution.


Cannabis expungement in Canada and the activists still fighting for it


A petition supporting automatic expungement for Canadians living with nonviolent cannabis convictions will soon be heard in the House of Commons

The tweet from Justin Bieber’s dad arrived too late.

Just past noon on April 19, a petition initiated by Toronto-based cannabis lawyer Russell Bennett closed with 301 signatures. The petition asked the federal government to redress the harms of 95 years of cannabis prohibition by acknowledging that the plant never should have been criminalized in the first place and grant expungements to Canadian convicted of cannabis offences.

If the petition had gained 500 signatures, the government would have been required to table a response.


Malawi joins Zimbabwe in switching from cultivating tobacco to cannabis

Malawi flag

Malawi has just followed Zimbabwe in reaffirming an intended agricultural switch from tobacco to cannabis. Both countries are doing so for economic survival as the long-term viability of tobacco is giving way to another crop entirely.


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