Police in Laval, Quebec say they have arrested five and seized firearms, cash, meth, psylocybe and numerous cannabis products following raids on March 26 and April 5.
The investigation began in August 2021 after police came across numerous incidents involving cannabis products being sold by suspects living in Kanesatake and Laval.
Police then began what they called the Cohesion Project in November 2021, in order to track these sales, in coordination with Quebec’s Access Cannabis Program (Le programme Accès-Cannabis). This investigation culminated in search warrants for two residences in the Chomedey district of Laval and a third located in Laval-Ouest, along with four vehicles.
The Accès-Cannabis program was established in the fall of 2018 by the Government of Quebec and the Ministry of Public Security, with a goal of suppressing the supply of illicit cannabis.
According to police, these searches in March and April then led to the seizure of a large quantity of narcotics, derivative products, as well as a firearm and several proceeds of crime.
A total of five individuals were arrested as part of this operation, which utilized several officers and investigators from the Laval Police Services, as well as the support and participation of agents from the Quebec Provincial Police and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
Police seized 60.2 kg of THC candies, 28.6 kg of dried cannabis, 2.2 kg of cannabis resin, 46 grams of THC chocolate, 495 “single-use” 98% THC vapes, 17 grams of psilocybin chocolate, and 644 methamphetamine pills. Police say the value of these drugs was $388,527.
Police also seized a Glock 17 9mm pistol as well as ammunition, $143,105 in Canadian currency, $9,352 in US currency, three vehicles and $100,000 in other securities.
Cannabis-infused or sprayed gummies have become increasingly common in the Canadian market in the past few years. Edibles are generally disallowed in Quebec’s legal cannabis market, although the province did recently approve a low-THC ‘cannabis bites” product.
The candies featured in an image shared by Laval Police are “Nuclear Worms” listed as having about 30mg in each of the 12 gummies, or 350 mg THC per package. Such products are listed in at least one illicit online store that shows to be operating in Canada. They are made to mimic the same popular candy product available without THC.
Ontario recently shared testing results from 22 different illicit cannabis edibles seized by police in the province showing much lower than advertised levels of THC, online with high levels of illicit pesticides.
The presence of these illicit cannabis edibles is likely connected to an increase in emergency room visits for young people in the past few years in Canada. Health Canada has even released alerts about these “copycat” edibles and the risk to young people.