Grow Operations In Ontario Homes
organized crime groups were obtaining legal licenses to produce medical marijuana
Marijuana is the most popular and widely available drug in Canada. An RCMP report from 2013 started ringing alarm bells around the participation of organized crime in the medical marijuana market and the RCMP does not expect that to change in a legalized environment. In September 2017, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Joanne Crampton told the House of Commons Senate Committee considering the federal bill that it would be naïve to think legalization would eliminate the presence of organized crime in the cannabis market.
C.D. Howe Institute has estimated that sales tax rates could heavily influence the percentage of sales that the illicit market will have after regulation. The illegal market will be able to undercut prices to ensure their product is priced below the legal market and there is also the risk they will infiltrate the legal regime. Hells Angels and other organized crime groups were obtaining legal licenses to produce medical marijuana but selling it illegally across the country.
Marijuana is a highly profitable industry in Canada – estimated at $7 billion and operators are becoming more sophisticated by trying to hide operations in unsuspecting residential neighbourhoods. There are even some that have families living in the homes as “crop sitters.” In Colorado, where cannabis has been legalized, there was a recent story about a multi-million dollar marijuana business operating in a mansion.