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HomeNewsSix "Illegal" Cannabis Stores Closed By The OPP

Six “Illegal” Cannabis Stores Closed By The OPP

ONTARIO-Six alleged illegal cannabis storefronts have been closed after enforcement action by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET) in Niagara and the surrounding area. The illegal cannabis products and contraband tobacco seized have a value of approximately $1 million.

On June 5, 2024, members from the OPP-led PJFCET, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, OPP Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit, with assistance from the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) uniform members and NRPS Emergency Task Unit members, executed nine search warrants in the Niagara area, with a focus on shutting down six storefronts operating illegally under the name “Indige Smoke” located in Hamilton, Fort Erie, Thorold, Welland, St. Catharines and Leamington. “Indige Smoke” was not authorized by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to sell cannabis or cannabis products. These illegal storefronts will be held under Interim Closure Orders as per section 18(1) of the Cannabis Control Act (CCA).

Anyone with interest in any of the locations (including owners) who wish to enter these premises may apply to the Superior Court of Justice to get permission under section 18(4) of the CCA. Anyone who enters the buildings that are subject to interim closure may be arrested and charged with Break and Enter, under section 348(1) of the Criminal Code (CC).

As a result of the search warrants, police say the following items were seized:

  • More than $640,000 in illegal cannabis and illegal cannabis products
  • More than $350,000 in contraband tobacco
  • Approximately $29,000 CAD currency
  • Three handguns
  • One shotgun
  • Ammunition
  • Approximately two ounces of suspected cocaine
  • Digital scales
  • Computers
  • Cell phones
  • Video surveillance systems

Eleven individuals were arrested and charged with 34 offences contrary to the CC, the Cannabis Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The accused were released from custody and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines on July 18, 2024.

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