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3 men charged when cannabis found exceeding licences

York Regional Police found more than 6,000 plants in the Stouffville grow facility licensed for 1,752 cannabis plants
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2019 01 29 cannabis grow exceed licence
Three men are charged after police found a licensed cannabis grow operating in excess of its licences. Supplied photo/York Regional Police

NEWS RELEASE
YORK REGIONAL POLICE
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Investigators with the York Regional Police Organized Crime Bureau - Guns, Gangs and Drug Enforcement Unit, have charged three men after finding a licenced indoor cannabis grow operating well in excess of their licences.   

On Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, York Regional Police were called to assist Whitchurch-Stouffville Fire and Emergency Services fire prevention officers with an inspection of a licenced indoor cannabis grow facility located in the area of Woodbine Avenue, north of Bloomington Road. The facility was operating with four combined Health Canada medical cannabis licences that allowed for 1,752 cannabis plants to be grown. Contained within the 10,000-square-foot facility, investigators found more than 6,000 plants in various stages of production. Three men were arrested at the scene and found that they were not the licence holders. They have since been charged under the Cannabis Act.

“These investigations raise significant concerns, as there is once again a blatant disregard for licenced grow limits,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe. “Since the legalization of cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, the increasing demand is creating additional opportunities for organized crime to be a supplier. York Regional Police is committed to keeping our community safe and we need our citizens to continue to come forward to report suspected grow operations.”

Investigators believe that organized crime is exploiting the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR). The regulation allows for designated growers to pool up to four grow licenses per address and turn a single production site into a cannabis farm. However because these growers are not appointed as licenced producers, they are avoiding Health Canada regulations for growing, security and quality control. The end result is lower cost cannabis that is sold into the black market for high profits.

Charged:

  • Yi Liu, 43, City of Toronto
  • Guangrong Lin, 56, City of Toronto
  • Kangchai Chen, 43, no fixed address

Charges:

  • Cultivation, propagation and harvesting
  • Possession for the purpose of distribution

Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Guns, Gangs and Drug Enforcement Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7817, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips, leave an anonymous tip online.

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