Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), along with forces from Peel and York regions, raided cannabis stores across the Greater Toronto Area this week and seized $600,000 in illicit cannabis, including from a Barrie business.
The Feb. 6 raid hit seven illegal storefronts that had been closed due to enforcement action from the OPP-led Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET), police said in a news release Friday.
Bayfield Bongs on Bayfield Street in Barrie was one of the seven stores involved in the raid.
On Tuesday, PJFCET executed nine search warrants at the following locations:
- Bayfield Bongs on Bayfield Street in Barrie
- St. Paul Smoke Shop on St. Paul Street in St. Catharines
- Farmers Link, an illegal online dispensary warehouse on Bradwick Drive in Vaughan
- The Planet 60 on Finch Avenue West in Toronto
- Kingston Chronic on Kingston Road in Toronto
- Lawrence Smoke Shop on Lawrence Avenue East in Toronto
- B Loud Cannabis on Kennedy Road South in Brampton
- a residence on Cupola Crescent in Toronto
- a suspect's vehicle
“The aforementioned businesses were not authorized by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to sell cannabis or cannabis products,” police said.
Seven people were arrested and charged with 26 offences under the Cannabis Act, Criminal Code, and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
All of the accused were released from custody and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Feb. 26.
As a result of the execution of the search warrants, the following items were seized:
- more than 63 kilograms of dried cannabis flower
- 901 packages of cannabis edibles
- 536 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vape pens
- 214 grams of butane hash oil (shatter)
- 436 grams of hashish
- 283 packages of psilocybin
- One prohibited weapon (brass knuckles)
- About $50,000 in Canadian currency
Police say the investigation is ongoing.
The investigation was supported by the OPP Special Entry Unit and the OPP Urban Search and Rescue, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives, Response Team.
Peel Regional Police and York Regional Police also supported the operation.
The PJFCET is an OPP-led joint forces operation that includes members of the Barrie Police Service, Niagara Regional Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, Cobourg Police Service, London Police Service and Windsor Police Service.
The PJFCET's role is to enforce and investigate illicit cannabis incidents and focus on the apprehension of those who produce, sell, distribute, import/export and use cannabis illegally.
Anyone with information about the illegal sale of cannabis is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 and ask to provide information to the Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team. Information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.