An Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigation into illicit cannabis has caused the closure of seven illegal storefronts in southern Ontario, seizing an estimated $600,000 in illicit cannabis, including edibles and vape pens in addition to some psilocybin.
An OPP-led Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PFCET) executed nine search warrants in Barrie, St. Catharines, Vaughan, Toronto and Brampton, including a residence in Toronto and a suspect’s vehicle.
In their investigation, police say that seven businesses were forced to shut their doors as they were not authorized to sell cannabis or cannabis products by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
The stores include: Bayfield Bongs in Barrie, St. Paul Smoke Shop in St. Catharines, Farmers Link in Vaughan, The Planet 60, Kingston Chronic and Lawrence Smoke Shop in Toronto, and B Loud Cannabis in Brampton.
“Persons 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 341(1) the Criminal Code (CC),” the news release reads.
As a result of the investigation, police seized more than 63 kilograms of dried cannabis flower, 901 packages of cannabis edibles, over 500 THC vape pens, 214 grams of butane hash oil, 436 grams of hashish, almost 300 packages of psilocybin, cell phones, $500,000 in Canadian currency and brass knuckles.
Police say that seven unidentified individuals were arrested as a result, and charged with 26 offences. They are scheduled to appear before an Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Feb. 26, 2024.
The investigation is ongoing.
Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.