Pot growers taking advantage of system

Recent busts of Calgary medical marijuana growers allegedly peddling their wares illegally has...

Recent busts of Calgary medical marijuana growers allegedly peddling their wares illegally has police scratching their heads. REUTERS/David McNew/Files

Bill Kaufmann, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:08 PM ET

Recent busts of Calgary medical marijuana growers allegedly peddling their wares illegally has police scratching their heads about how to enforce drug laws amid new federal laws for legal growers.

Police say Health Canada, which issues growing permits, doesn't supply law enforcement with information on the medicinal gardens.

And a recent arrest suggest some growers are abusing their licence privileges.

"There's a lot of grey in this area,” Calgary Police Staff Sgt. Keith Hurley said. “The lines are definitely blurred and it's difficult to police.”

Calgary police seized packaged marijuana in a vehicle on July 22, and police believe it was being sold illicitly.

"(The suspect) had the profile of someone trafficking marijuana, that it was not for personal use," Hurley said.

On the same day, a raid of a Calgary home that had been under police observation uncovered 107 cannabis plants, 139 grams of packaged pot, a small quantity of magic mushrooms, a taser, a stolen and loaded handgun, $1,100 in cash and a money counter.

The home's occupants did possess a Health Canada licence to grow up to 400 plants for medicinal purposes, Hurley said, and the marijuana found on site was well within those legal limits..

"But this is more about the other activities," said Hurley.

"It paints a bad light of those legitimately in the program."

New federal regulations that came into effect in April allow users to buy from licenced marijuana producers rather than government-run grow-houses.

Hurley said it's a certainty other licensed pot growers are abusing their permits and cultivating in unsafe ways but its hard to get a handle on it.

"Nobody knows what's happening in these houses," he said.

There could be hundreds or thousands of licensed marijuana growers in his city alone, he said.

bill.kaufmann@sunmedia.ca

on Twitter: @SUNBillKaufmann

 


Videos

Photos