Two men charged in raid on legal marijuana grow op north of Toronto
Police say two men from Quebec are facing charges following a raid on a licensed medical marijuana grow operation in an agricultural area north of Toronto.
York regional police say officers seized nearly 290 kilograms of harvested cannabis and more than 4,000 plants in King Township, Ont., late last month.
Police say a large-scale cannabis grow operation was discovered on July 26 while officers were helping with a safety inspection of the property, which has 22 greenhouses.
Investigators say there were three Health Canada licences in place that allowed a total of 875 plants to be grown for medical purposes.
Police say officers returned on July 27 with a search warrant and removed marijuana plants in excess of those allowed by the licences.
Two men – a 36-year-old from Montreal and a 43-year-old from Laval, Que. – who were maintaining the plants are charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and producing marijuana.
"This criminal enterprise was operating well in excess of Health Canada authorizations to grow cannabis for medical purposes," Chief Eric Jolliffe said Friday in a release.
The marijuana was being grown in an unregulated, illegal and unsafe manner, with no quality control, environmental considerations or security measures, investigators alleged.
Jolliffe said police are working to identify personal and designated production licence holders that are growing excessive amounts of cannabis under Health Canada authorizations.
"The product is then diverted to the illicit market by organized crime groups to supply illegal dispensaries, export outside of Canada and trafficked in our local communities," he said.
Police said the investigation is continuing.
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