15,000 cannabis plants seized in another large raid in Ontario

| Morton Robertson

Ontario Provincial Police say they have raided another large scale cannabis farm in coordination with the Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU) from the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton Highlands detachments.

The raid, on a large rural property within the city of Kawartha Lakes, about two hours outside Toronto, involved the seizure of 15,300 cannabis plants, harvested cannabis flower, vehicles, and equipment.

Police say the property featured a “very structured growing site that was being operated outside of the Health Canada regulations”. The investigation is ongoing.

This is the most recent of a handful of very large raids on cannabis farms in southern Ontario in the past few weeks.

On August 21, OPP dismantled what they say was a “large-scale, sophisticated” cannabis network between BC and Ontario, arresting eight people and seizing nearly 2,000 pounds of cannabis, along with other cannabis products in what police are calling Project Woolwich.

recent raid in St Catharines last week was connected to this 12-month-long investigation.

On the same day in an unrelated raid, OPP Community Street Crime Unit officers from the Northumberland, Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes detachments said they arrested nineteen people in another large bust at a rural property in Trent Hills. Officers seized more than 600 pounds of cannabis and more than 1,800 plants.

In July of this year, Niagara Regional Police raided a large illegal marijuana grow operation in St. Catharines, seizing what they say was $34 million worth of cannabis. Niagara police say this is the largest marijuana grow operation they’ve ever investigated.

Raids of this nature in southern Ontario are not uncommon.

In September 2019, Niagara Regional Police dismantled a grow op with over 1,000 plants which they say had a street value of over a million dollars.

In 2018 Niagara Regional Police Service dismantled two large marijuana grow operations on Cataract Road following several months investigation from the regional police guns, gangs and grow units. Police said they seized 2,683 cannabis plants, 287.5 pounds of processed cannabis and $1,500 in cash. They valued the cannabis as being worth just under $3.2 million. Six were arrested.

In 2016 Niagara Regional Police seized nearly 4,000 plants from a medical cannabis grow authorized for 400 plants under three licenses. Police discovered the illegal grow operation when the owners called the police after they were confronted at gunpoint by a group of masked men who demanded drugs, cash and guns.

In 2015 Niagara police raided a medical marijuana grow on Lakeshore in Niagara-on-the-lake and cut down and seized nearly 900 plants that they said was worth $1.6 million dollars. It was one of the largest medical marijuana busts in the country at that time.