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Updated: Police bust 'illegal' cannabis storefronts in Wahnapitae First Nation

Stores say despite raid, they're back in business
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Pot
(Supplied)

Six people*** have been charged under the Cannabis Act after police searched two “illegal” cannabis storefronts in Wahnapitae First Nation Jan. 3.

One of the stores they searched was on Loonway Road, and the other on Taighwanini Trail. 

Press releases from the OPP said members of the Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET) of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), along with members of the Anishinabek Police Service (APS) executed the search warrants.

In relation to the Loonway Road search warrant, a 20-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man, both from Greater Sudbury, were charged with possessing cannabis for the purpose of selling, contrary to section 10(2) of the Cannabis Act.

They were released on a promise to appear in Sudbury court Jan. 23.

The items seized included suspected cannabis bud, oil, shatter, hash and edibles. The street value of the cannabis seized is about $47,430. Police also seized about $2,700 in Canadian currency. 

And in relation to the Taighwanini Trail search warrant, a 24-year-old man, a 32-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman, all from Greater Sudbury, were also charged with possessing cannabis for the purpose of selling, contrary to section 10(2) of the Cannabis Act.

They were released on a promise to appear in Sudbury court Jan. 23.

Also in relation to the Taighwanini Trail search warrant, a 47-year-old man faces a charge of possessing cannabis for the purpose of selling, contrary to section 10(2) of the Cannabis Act, as well as charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, obstructing a peace officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and assaulting a peace officer.

He appeared in bail court Jan. 4, where he was released on recognizance.

The items seized at this store included suspected cannabis bud, hash and edibles.  The street value of the cannabis seized is approximately $111,000. Police also seized $14,000 in Canadian currency. 

First Nations Medicinal, which sells cannabis products in the community on Loonway Road, said on its Facebook page Jan. 3 that it was “raided.” However, on Jan. 4, the pot store said it was already back in business.

Creator's Choice Natural Health Solutions, which also sells cannabis in Wahnapitae First Nation — in its case on Taighwanini Trail Road — said on its Facebook page Jan. 3 that it was being raided.

A Jan. 6 post said it would be open for its normal hours of operation as of Jan. 8.

The OPP enjoys a respectful working relationship with its First Nations policing partners, said the press release.

The police service said it works with its partners to continue to work with communities and engage all stakeholders with respect to enforcement action on illegal cannabis storefronts.

The OPP is continuing to lead an enforcement strategy which includes other Ontario police services, the press release said. This strategy will reflect actionable intelligence on illegal cannabis operations.

The focus of the strategy is to dismantle organized crime groups, eliminate the illegal cannabis supply, remove illegal cannabis enterprises such as store fronts and online and target the proceeds of crime and assets.

Any person with information regarding this incident should immediately contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority, said the press release.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit information online at www.sudburycrimestoppers.com where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

***An earlier version of this story only included information provided by the OPP about a search warrant of one of the pot stores on Wahnapitae First Nation. The story has now been updated to include both.




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