Illicit cannabis crack-down unit arrests man caught with dozen pot plants

Illicit cannabis crack-down unit arrests man caught with dozen pot plants

Operation cost kept secret

By Jack Wilson


The Sherbrooke and Memphremagog Accès Cannabis regional group arrested a 30-year-old man caught illegally growing cannabis May 16. It took about 10 officers “a few weeks” to plan the operation, said Sherbrooke police spokesperson Martin Carrier, which ultimately led to the seizure of 12 cannabis plants, 216 grams of cannabis leaves, an imitation weapon and equipment including a thermometer, timer and lamp.

While the federal government allows up to four cannabis plants per home, Quebec doesn’t allow any. In a similar vein, cannabis consumption here is illegal for youth under 21, compared with 18 or 19 in the rest of the country.

The Accès Cannabis unit was launched in 2018, the same year Ottawa legalized recreational cannabis use. The unit cracks down on illegal cannabis operations with the goals of targeting criminal organizations, reducing cannabis accessibility to youth, detecting infractions and protecting government revenue flowing from the legal market. “I can’t say much,” about the group’s methods, Carrier said, “but there are all kinds of techniques.”

Carrier wouldn’t divulge the cost of the recent operation. “We never release the costs of the fight against crime,” he said. “We don’t want to give people the idea that the cost is high.” He also declined to share the total cost of the regional Accès Cannabis program.

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