Fort Erie cannabis store one of six shut down by OPP

A Dominion Road cannabis store has been shut down by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Credit: Ontario Provincial Police

All told, police executed search warrants on six Indige Smoke storefronts, including the one in Fort Erie. Other locations were in Hamilton, Welland, St. Catharines and Leamington. According to an OPP news release, the stores were “not authorized by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to sell cannabis or cannabis products.”

Police estimated they seized $1 million in illegal cannabis and contraband in the closures, which took place on June 5. Members from the OPP-led Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team, with the help of Niagara Regional Police, executed the nine search warrants.

“Cannabis remains a lucrative commodity for criminal networks. The Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team is focused on disrupting and charging criminal networks involved in the illegal cannabis trade in Ontario,” said Anne Goodwin, detective inspector with the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.

“Not only is it against the law to sell or purchase illegal cannabis, but consumers are faced with health risks that come from using untested and unregulated products.”

Credit: Ontario Provincial Police

Police arrested 11 people with a total of 34 offences, contrary to the Criminal Code, Cannabis Act, and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. They were released from custody and are set to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines in July.

Police said they seized more than $640,000 in illegal cannabis and cannabis products, more than $350,000 in contraband tobacco, and approximately $29,000 in cash. They also seized three handguns, ammo, two ounces of what they suspect to be cocaine, phones, scales, computers and video surveillance equipment.

As part of the enforcement, police issued Interim Closure Orders through the Cannabis Control Act. People who wish to enter the locations can apply to the Superior Court of Justice for permissions. Those who don’t could be charged with break and enter.

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